What to know about distracted driving in Florida

On Behalf of The Andres Lopez Law Firm , PA | April 30, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many drivers in Coral Springs, Florida, know that it is unwise to use cellphones while driving, but they do it anyway. Distracted driving first got national attention when Chrysler added a portable record player to vehicles in the ’50s. With the increased use of mobile devices, figures show that distracted driving is an even larger issue.

Overview of distracted driving

Distracted driving occurs when the driver is preoccupied with another activity that takes their attention from the road. Three types of distracted driving include:

  • Manual, or removing hands from the wheel
  • Visual, or taking eyes off the road
  • Cognitive, or focusing on something besides driving

Florida laws make it legal to send or receive a text message while the vehicle is in operation. Florida law states that a driver may not type, enter multiple letters or characters, or receive text messages on wireless devices while driving. Some exceptions include emergency calls, emergency/weather alerts, hands-free devices and activities that include reporting a crime, receiving vehicle navigation data and operating vehicles in automatic mode.

Distracted driving statistics

Data shows that about 50,000 motor vehicle accidents and 200 fatalities because of distracted driving occur in Florida annually. A study by EverQuote ranked Florida second among states with the most distracted driving accidents behind Louisiana, which is number one. This data was collected using an app that assigned a score to actions, such as speeding and braking.

The NHTSA reveals that 660,000 drivers nationwide are on a mobile device at any time of the day. The NHTSA also reports that distracted driving has six times the risk of causing an accident compared to drunk driving. Texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, which is enough time to cover a football field while driving 55 mph.

Distracted driving is not only costly but also devastating because it could have easily been prevented. Injured parties may be able to seek compensation from at-fault drivers who caused an accident while texting.