Articles Tagged with distracted driving

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.phonedriver-300x225

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.

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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.car accident lawyer

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.

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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.phonedriver-300x225

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.

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car accidentFlorida 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.

A number of car manufacturers are working on technology they hope will reduce distraction while driving. However, these efforts work within a model that essentially says, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” iphone

Automakers don’t believe they’ll be able to quell drivers’ desire to stay in touch at all times. So they are working on ways to make doing so safer. But some traffic safety advocates wonder if these well-meaning efforts will backfire by making it easier for drivers to be distracted.

A recent article in The New York Times weighs both sides of the debate.

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