The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report last week that found observable cellphone use has increased more than 50 percent in recent years. While the study linked at least 800 deaths to distraction caused by cellphone use in 2017, advocates believe distraction is responsible for about one-third of road deaths each year, killing some 10,000 motorists. Cellphone use is by far the leading cause of driver distraction.
Observational studies are a better indicator of road risks.
Our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers wrote last month about the growing risks of traffic accidents in Southwest Florida and so far 2019 has gotten off to a dangerous start. The Fort Myers News-Press reports 10 people were killed on Lee County roads in January. Last year, 84 people were killed in traffic accidents in Lee County after back-to-back years of more than 100 deaths.
Growing Distractions Increase Collision Risks
Distracted driving is a primary threat and yet Florida lawmakers lag behind leaders in other states when it comes to enacting traffic-safety legislation.
The IIHS observational roadside survey was conducted last year in Virginia, and witnessed a 57 percent increase in the number of motorists observed manipulating a cellphone, compared to a similar study conducted in 2014. Fewer drivers were seen talking on a hand-held phone as drivers increasingly turn to hands-free devices.
Studies continue to show hands-free devices are not a safe alternative, because of the cognitive distraction of having a conversation while driving. However, physical manipulation of the phone also results in manual and visual distraction, which leaves motorists the most vulnerable to suffering a collision.
The latest report affirms a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, which found that 64 percent of respondents consider distracted driving a much bigger problem today than it was three years ago.
Injury Lawsuits and Distracted Driving
As we previously discussed, Florida lawmakers have been slow to adopt mandatory hands-free laws and other measures to keep devices out of the hands of motorists. When you add thousands of visitors and seasonal residents to Southwest Florida roads, the risks increase exponentially.
Consulting an experienced injury attorney will best protect your rights in the immediate aftermath of a motor-vehicle collision. At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we have focused exclusively on the representation of personal injury and wrongful death victims right here in Southwest Florida since 1971. We have represented thousands of car accident victims over the years. A motorist does not have to be charged with a distracted driving violation to be found civilly responsible for injury and resulting damages.
Most “accidents” occur because of a few common poor driving decisions by at-fault motorists. Consulting a law firm with extensive experience in traffic accident litigation will best allow you to determine the causes of a collision and to identify and hold those responsible accountable for damages.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.
More Blog Entries
SWFL Traffic Safety in Focus, Jan. 24, 2019, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog