If you choose to drive while distracted, you are not only putting yourself in danger but also those you are sharing the road with. Continue reading to learn how driving while distracted affects your driving ability and how an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group, P.A. can help you in the event of an accident.
What are some statistics for distracted driving?
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in just 2020 alone. This means that 8.1 percent of all car accident fatalities were due to distracted driving. In addition, distracted driving made up four percent of all injury accidents and 13 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic accidents.
The demographic that seems to cause the most distracted driving accidents are teenagers. More specifically, they tend to text while driving. And because this is known to create accidents, 23 states have some form of handheld cell phone usage ban while driving, while 48 states and the District of Columbia have a texting while driving ban.
Notably, in the state of Florida, texting while driving is considered a primary offense. And so, a law enforcement officer is allowed to pull you over and issue a citation for texting while behind the wheel.
How does driving while distracted affect one’s driving ability?
In addition to texting while driving, there are many other ways in which distracted driving may occur. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Driving while eating or drinking.
- Driving while smoking.
- Driving while applying makeup.
- Driving while navigating a GPS.
- Driving while adjusting car controls.
- Driving while using earphones.
- Driving while talking over the phone.
- Driving with a pet on your lap.
- Driving with disruptive passengers.
And with all of the above examples, a driver is taking their attention off the road, so they are less likely to respond to outside stimuli appropriately. In addition, a driver may be taking their hands off the wheel, so they are less in control of their vehicle. With all this considered, accidents are more likely to occur.
What should I do if I am involved in a car accident due to a distracted driver?
If your car accident was due to no fault of your own, but rather due to a distracted driver, then you may want to recover your damages and seek justice by filing a personal injury claim.
Of note, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state of Florida. This deadline is typically four years from the date your accident occurred. Failure to file on time means being permanently barred from suing.
So, before it is too late, you must retain legal representation from a skilled Tampa auto accident lawyer.