Today's driver has more communication and entertainment options than ever before. For many of us, using our cell phones for calls and texts while driving has become commonplace. Further, the development of automotive infotainment systems which allow users to make calls, text, use GPS features, and select radio, music, and information options have made our time the car more enjoyable but also more distracted. Further, as drivers, we are also prone to pay attention to basic diversions such as trying to eat lunch while running errands as well as those created by our passengers. The presence of these distractions can cause us to be less focused on driving and have dangerous consequences. Here are some things to consider about distracted driving:
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is driving when you are not fully paying attention to operating a vehicle. As indicated above, distracted driving can be something routine such as glancing at your incoming text message, talking with a passenger or focusing on programming your in-car GPS system. While these actions may seem harmless, when a driver fails to pay attention to their driving an accident can occur in a matter of seconds. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (FDMV), there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida in 2016. In 2017, distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,500 serious bodily injuries and 233 fatalities.
Preventing Distracted Driving
For drivers who are using cell phones to call and text, the solution can be as simple as keeping your hands-free device engaged for calls and exercising discipline in not looking at or responding to text until the car is no longer in motion. If the phone is too much of a temptation, you can store it out of reach until you are done driving. If you need to use a GPS, set it to the destination before operating your vehicle. Additionally, those who use in-car technology can program their systems to auto-message a driving response to text messages and cause the system to be unresponsive while the car is in motion. There are also driving apps which can automatically divert calls and text while the phone user is driving.
Doing your part to avoid distractions on the road is essential. However, you cannot always predict when you may be involved in an accident with someone else who is not paying attention to the road. If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.