Distracted Driving: Study Shows Hands-free is Not Enough
According to a white paper published by the National Safety Council, car accidents are the among the top causes of death and account for more than 700,000 fatalities of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians between 1994 and 2012. In fact, distracted driving has joined the ranks of alcohol and speeding as a leading factor in both serious and fatal car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 21 percent of all crashes in 2010 involved parties talking on their cell phones. While driving and talking on your cell phone is perfectly legal under Florida law, there is a limited ban on texting and driving.
The Myth of Multitasking
In order to safely avoid car accidents, a driver must be able to quickly react and respond to sudden hazards such as weather conditions, other drivers’ behavior, objects in the roadway and other obstacles that are the critical factor between an accident and a near-accident occurring. If the brain is experiencing an increased workload (i.e. multitasking), a person’s processing speed slows down making him or her less likely to respond to these unexpected things in time to avoid a crash. A 2010 French study found that the human brain can handle, at most, two different complicated tasks simultaneously.
In 2013, the Florida legislature passed a limited ban on texting while driving but stopped short of banning cell phone usage like other states in the nation. Specifically, Florida drivers are prohibited from typing into virtual keyboards or even sending or reading messages. Florida’s texting while driving ban is known as a secondary law, which means an officer can only pull a driver over and issue a ticket for this if the officer witnesses some other violation.
According to the U.S. government’s official website for distracted driving, as many as 3,154 people were victims of fatal car accidents in 2013 due to distracted driving. More than 420,000 were injured in these same types of accidents. A driver can be distraction in a number of ways, including eating, adjusting the radio or CD/MP3 player, reading,talking on a cell phone, texting, talking to other passengers, attending to personal hygiene, or using a navigation system or map.
Car Accident Help in Orlando
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the party responsible for injuries should be held accountable. Do not drown under the weight of medical bills and loss of income. Your suffering should not be enhanced by the legal complexities of a lawsuit. The legal professionals at Reed & Reed will work hard to ensure clients get the best recovery possible. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.