Distracted driving killed more than 3,500 people on the nation’s roads last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In those cases, driver distraction was determined to be a primary factor in the fatal collision. However, the true number is much higher because distraction often is not revealed as a factor of causation. By some estimates, 4 in 10 collisions, or some 15,000 deaths per year, involve some form of distraction. These hidden risks are another reason why thorough investigation by an experienced car accident law firm in Fort Myers or Cape Coral should be conducted as soon as possible after a serious or fatal collision.
Driver distraction is the leading cause of serious and fatal traffic collisions in the United States. By some estimates, nearly half of all collisions involve some form of driver distraction. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and is a great time to resolve to avoid distraction while driving as we head into the summer travel months.
Safety advocates continue to preach the message but there is concern that drivers have grown weary of listening to it. There is little evidence that the risks of distraction are decreasing. On the contrary, the growing prevalence of in-car technologies, and the increasing capabilities of the smart phone, have only combined to increase the risks.
Our New Year’s look, Staying Safe on Florida Roads, has examined many of the ways drivers are distracted inside the vehicle, including cell phones and other electronic devices, eating and drinking, and engaging with passengers.
But an often overlooked contributing factor in collision causation is distractions and obstructions outside the vehicle. These can range from road construction, to previous collisions, to the actions of other motorists, to special events, and people carrying sign boards and intersection advertising.
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know such distraction is a contributing factor in a substantial number of serious and fatal traffic collisions each year. In some cases, such distractions may be reported by initial investigators, but in many other cases, these contributing causes go unreported.
We’ve been blogging a lot about distracted driving as part of our New Year’s look: Staying Safe on Florida Roads.
Still, our experienced car accident attorneys in Fort Myers know few risks compare to the modern-day cell phone. Gone are the days when the biggest worry was driving and talking. Text messaging began a larger threat because it requires a driver to engage in all three types of distraction – eyes off the road, mind off the task of driving, hand off the wheel.
As we enter our 50th year of representing injury victims in Southwest Florida, we recently blogged about the dangers of in-car technology and cell phones when it comes to the risks of being involved in a serious or fatal traffic collision.
But distracted driving is about much more than the electronic gadgetry that has become central to our daily lives. Nationwide, safety advocates report at least 3,000 people are killed and 400,000 injured each year in collisions involving distracted driving. However, the increasingly ubiquitous nature of this technology in our lives means the true risks are actually much higher – by some estimates involved in one-third of the nation’s traffic collisions, resulting in more than 10,000 road deaths each year.
Many of these victims were not in another vehicle at the time of the collision. About 1 in 5 of the people who died in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018 were not in vehicles―they were walking, riding their bikes, or otherwise outside a vehicle, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When it comes to road risks, distracted driving is number one with a bullet.
Car radios (AM) date to the Model A, although they were a prohibitively expensive option. When installation of AM/FM radios became standard in cars in the 1950s, there was heated debate on whether they would prove to be a deadly distraction to drivers!
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.
The National Safety Council has launched a campaign targeting the Big Three road threats: distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding.
Our car accident attorneys recently posted ways motorists can help keep themselves safer as the world attempts a return to near-normal amid the coronavirus pandemic. As we noted in “Understand Road Risks can Prevent Collisions,” safe driving is a learned and practiced activity.
As the NSC notes, more than 40,000 people were killed on the roads annually each year leading up to the pandemic, as record economic activity pushed fatalities near record highs. The organization is now targeting employers and parents, urging them to better advocate road safety to employees and teenagers.
WINK News is among the media outlets reporting that the grace period for Florida’s texting-while driving law has ended and motorists can expect to be stopped and ticketed for texting behind the wheel as the new year gets underway.
The new law applies to drivers texting on a phone while the car is in motion. Motorists texting while stopped at a red light will not be at fault under the new law. It’s also still permissible to use a phone’s GPS while the vehicle is in motion, though it’s recommended to type in your destination before you start driving.
There was a six-month warning period after the law went into effect in July. After Jan.1, police will begin to issue tickets to law breakers.
The National Safety Council estimates 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by texting drivers. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving, which is now believed to be responsible for 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States.
Florida lawmakers have passed a tougher measure aimed at texting drivers. Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys continue to see far too many collisions caused by distraction and view this as a long overdue step in the right direction.
The new law, which awaits Gov. Ron Desantis’ signature, makes texting (including messaging, emailing and other forms of typing on a mobile device) a primary violation, meaning an officer can stop and cite a motorist without other cause for the traffic stop. Under current law, a texting violation is a secondary offense, meaning a motorist can only be cited once stopped for committing another traffic violation.
In January, we wrote on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog about the lack of progress Florida lawmakers have made when it comes to improving traffic safety. Florida continues to lag far behind most other states by almost every measure. AAA reports 44 other states already have laws as strong or stronger on the books. More than half of all states ban all hand-held cell phone use by drivers as studies continue to show hands-free options contribute to a significant number of serious and fatal distracted driving accidents.