What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and it is the cause of thousands of traffic fatalities every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were a total of 3,142 deaths attributed to distracted driving in 2020, and many additional crashes involving non-fatal injuries resulted from distracted driving. In Florida, distracted driving is a serious problem, and it puts motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at risk of serious injury in Brandon. What do you need to know about distracted driving? Our Brandon car accident lawyers have more information.
Getting the Facts About Distracted Driving in Florida
Distracted driving is a particularly significant problem in Florida. According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida may have one of the highest rates of distracted driving accidents and deaths. Here are a few key facts:
- More than 56,000 distracted driving collisions occurred in Florida in 2021;
- 333 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in Florida last year; and
- An average of more than 1,000 distracted driving collisions occur in Florida each week.
Those numbers mean that Florida has one of the highest rates of distracted driving collisions and deaths in the country. The FLHSMV urges drivers to pledge to avoid distracted driving to save their own lives and the lives of others on Florida’s roads.
Understanding the Different Types of Distracted Driving
What is distracted driving, and what types of behaviors are commonly considered to be classified as risky distractions? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that there are three primary types of distractions that occur, and drivers can be affected by one or more of these kinds of distractions:
- Visual distractions, which include any kind of distraction that involves the driver taking their eyes off the road, even for a very short time;
- Manual distractions, which include any type of behavior that involves the driver taking one or both hands off the wheel to perform another task; and
- Cognitive distractions, which include any kind of thought process that results in the driver taking their mind off the immediate task of driving and focusing on the road.
Sometimes drivers engage in more than one type of distraction at the same time. For example, texting while driving involves all three types of distractions since it requires a driver to take their eyes off the road to look at a phone, their hands off the wheel to click through to a text message or to type out a text message, and their mind off the task of driving since they need to consider the content of the text message. Other types of distractions may only fall into one of the above distraction categories, such as thinking about a work-related issue that results in a cognitive distraction or looking over at a road sign that results in a visual distraction. The following are just some examples of distracted driving in Florida:
- Texting while driving;
- Talking on a handheld phone;
- Reaching for an object in the passenger or back seat; or
- Conversing with other passengers.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Brandon, Florida
If you were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you should get in touch with a Brandon car accident lawyer who can discuss your options with you for seeking financial compensation and holding the distracted driver accountable. Contact Carman, Bevington & Finnegan today to learn more.