“Everyone knows distracted driving causes accidents, injuries and deaths. However, it seems that drivers have the attitude, ‘It won’t happen to me.’ Experts confirm that if everyone took a different attitude, ‘Distracted driving stops with me.’ distracted driving accidents would decrease,” said Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Despite a decade of new laws and enforcement, and a flurry of public-safety campaigns, surveys have found that drivers still make the dangerous choice to text and drive or use their smartphones in other distracting ways, as reported in Consumer Reports.
According to the NHTSA, “over 3,331 people were killed and over 387,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents connected to distracted driving. Driving safely can be challenging enough when full attention is given to the road and its potential hazards. Driving while operating a cell phone, in-vehicle smartphone, adjusting the radio or infotainment center menu, or eating and drinking can be distracting and potentially dangerous. The NHTSA urges the American public to get the facts, get involved and help keep America’s roads safe.”
More distracted driving statistics from Distraction.gov:
- Distracted driving causes 1 out of 4 car accidents in the U.S.
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crashes.
Distracted driving victims rarely live to talk about it.
Joel Feldman, the founder of Enddd.org (End Distracted Driving) has a personal story. Mr. Feldman travels around the country speaking out against distracted driving following the death of his daughter, Casey, in July 2009. Casey was walking in a cross-walk when hit by a 58-year-old driver reaching for his GPS and going through the stop sign. “He took his eyes off the road. I used to say it was an accident, but now I say it was a crash, because an accident is something you can’t prevent,” said Mr. Feldman.
Every time another family loses someone to a distracted driver, the Barberio family of Tampa Bay morns even though his death was nearly nine years ago. Michael, a 21-year-old, was enlisted in the Navy as an aspiring nuclear engineer. That career dream was cut short when a distracted driver killed him, as reported by 10News Tampa/Sarasota.
Florida law changes for texting while driving
A bill which would make texting and driving a primary offense passed its first committee on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
Bill co-sponsor Representative Jackie Toledo of Tampa said, “This bill establishes a proper balance between safety and law enforcement and our cherished liberties,” she said. “The goal is safer streets, not greater conflict. As a mother of 5, this is very important to me and to the safety of all of our children, on and off the road.”
What positive efforts can you make to avoid distractions?
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) offers the following suggestions:
- Concentrate on the road.
- Make adjustments to vehicle controls before beginning to drive or after the car is no longer in motion.
- Do not reach down or behind the driver’s seat, pick up items from the floor, open the glove compartment, clean the inside windows, or perform personal grooming while driving.
- Put your cell phone away while driving. Let your wireless network voice mail pick up your calls when you are driving and answer text messages after you stop.
- If you have to use your phone while driving, pull off the road, stop, and then dial.
“If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights.”
Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.