Pedestrian safety and distracted driving awareness are vying for your attention this October.
Our Fort Myers injury lawyers recently blogged about the efforts of the inaugural Pedestrian Safety Month.
It is perhaps ironic then that we will also be recognizing October as Distracted Driving Awareness Month after the National Safety Council moved it’s annual awareness campaign from April to October in response to the COVID pandemic.
With Governor Ron DeSantis announcing the end of COVID restrictions on businesses, and the start of tourist season right around the corner in Southwest Florida, all signs point toward increasing traffic on the roads of Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties.
Distracted Driving and Vulnerable Road Users
The National Safety Council’s Just Drive campaign urges motorists to take a pledge to remain distraction free while behind the wheel. The agency reports more than 700 motorists a day are seriously injured in collisions involving a distracted driver. Pedestrians face some of the highest risks, with more than 700 a year killed in collisions involving a driver who was determined to be distracted, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
However, the true number of those killed in collisions involving distraction is estimated to be more than 10,000 a year, or about one-third of all fatal collisions.
An experienced injury law firm will be best able to review the facts and circumstances of your case in the immediate aftermath of a serious or fatal motor vehicle collision. In many cases, evidence of distraction and other unidentified causes may be discovered.
Florida’s distracted driving law prohibits drivers from texting while a vehicle is in motion. Florida’s updated law, which took effect last July, is codified in F.S. 316.305 and makes it a primary enforcement violation, meaning drivers can be stopped and cited without committing any other traffic infraction.
However, there are many other types of distraction, including eating and drinking, talking to passengers, dealing with pets, and using onboard electronic devices.
Distracted-Driving Liability & Injury Claims
With the tourist season upon us, we continue to promote awareness of the dangers of interacting with our most vulnerable road users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders. Identifying all responsible parties and their insurance companies will best enable victims to make a fair claim for damages.
These crashes often occur at intersections, where distraction can prove particularly disastrous. Motorists should always yield the right of way to walkers and riders in marked crosswalks. But even riders and walkers who are elsewhere will be proven to have the right-of-way in the vast majority of cases. Remaining aware, and taking a couple of extra seconds to allow a walker or rider to pass, is time well spent when it comes to making the roads safer and eliminating the chances you will be found responsible for causing a serious or fatal collision.
Motorists should also expect an increasing number of tourists on the roads, often sightseeing and half-lost in rental cars. In short, be patient, drive defensively, and never drive aggressively.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.