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Traffic Collisions Result from Hands-Free Distractions, Too!

You might think you’re better off behind the wheel if you’re using a hands-free device. Unfortunately, recent research has determined that hands-free devices are just as dangerous as hand-held electronics for drivers. According to The Street, voice-to-text email programs are more or less the worst of all.
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According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), the state of Florida is one of the most relaxed states in the country when it comes to keeping drivers’ attention on the road. In the state, the only law that lawmakers have enacted to keep drivers from engaging in electronic devices behind the wheel was a ban on texting and driving, and that’s not even effective until October.

Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers understand that about half of the nation’s adult population owns a smartphone. According to the wireless industry, the nation’s subscription rate was over 103 percent. And that’s what has prompted officials with the GHSA to release findings of their “2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States” study.

But that’s not the only study in which experts have been looking into this epidemic. Using various road tests and a number of driving simulators, officials with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety performed a series of experiments on volunteers to measure how a range of distractions — from listening to the radio to answering math questions — affect driving proficiency.

Researchers looked at the amount of time it took for drivers to brake, adhere to speed limits as well as following distances to other vehicles, while they were engaged in other activities behind the wheel. Brain waves and head and eye movements were recorded during this time. Researchers wanted to see how well the participants could pay attention to the road. And the results weren’t pretty.

In helping to prevent distracted driving accidents, it’s not only important that the drivers are aware, but that local enforcement agencies and state lawmakers are doing their job, too. According to the GHSA, there were 47 states that reported having taken steps to educate the public about the threat of distracted driving in 2012. This is up from 37 states in 2010 (a more than 25 percent increase).

States are employing a number of information strategies in connection with these campaigns. But recognizing the effectiveness of technology-based communication, 36 states have incorporated new/social media such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to get out their message, an astounding 125% increase over the 2010 response, when only 16 states were using these strategies.

Luckily, the state of Florida was included in these efforts in 2012, but more needs to be done today! Hang up the phone, put down the bluetooth and save these activities for another time. Behind the wheel is no time to multitask. Unfortunately, we’re not able to do all of these things as safely as we would like to believe. Pay attention to the road and arrive alive.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.

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Top Traffic Citations To Hike Insurance Premiums, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 17, 2013