Distracted Driving And Personal Injury Law
Drunk driving is often thought of as being the single biggest risk factor on Florida roads. And with good reason – millions are involved in a DUI every year, and roughly one third of all traffic related fatalities involve a drunk driver.
However, DUI isn’t the only thing that is making our roads less safe than ever before. In fact, distracted driving is quickly becoming just as big of a risk – maybe even bigger since more and more people are doing it.
Distracted driving can include everything from changing the song on an iPod to handing a kid in the backseat a cracker, but in most instances modern distracted driving situations are caused by cell phones. Texting, checking emails, looking at Facebook, and even taking photos while behind the wheel are becoming increasingly common and are changing the safety of our roads. Consider some of the alarming statistics related to distracted driving to see just what we mean here.
- Of the more than 2.5 million accidents in this country each year, 64% of them involve a cell phone.
- One out every four accidents in the USA are caused by texting while driving a vehicle.
- 78% of all distracted driving accidents involve texting as the distraction.
- Recent estimates suggest that texting while driving is 6 times more likely to lead to an accident than a DUI. In other words, according to the stats, drunk drivers are safer than texting drivers. That doesn’t mean it’s preferred, of course, just that texting while driving is far more dangerous than many realize.
- 11 teenage drivers die every year as a result of texting while driving.
- One fourth of all teen drivers report that they respond to at least one text while driving every time they get behind the wheel.
- 94% of today’s teenage drivers report that they are aware of the dangers that come from texting while driving. However, 35% of them admit that they do it regardless of that knowledge.
All of these numbers should show one clear fact – distracted driving is far more dangerous than most realize, and it’s also far more common than it should be. But what happens if you’re involved in an accident with someone who was texting and driving at the time – or otherwise distracted? A few basic things are worth remembering here.
First, it must be shown that the other party was indeed using a mobile phone or distracted in some way. Under Florida law, personal injury cases must prove that one party acted in a negligent or reckless manner and distracted driving certainly counts as such. If it can be shown that the other driver was using their cell phone, you likely have the grounds to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
To prove this, a number of tools may be used by your accident lawyer. The first is simply the accident report filed by the police officer at the scene of the accident. But this may not always contain the information needed, and in those instances additional steps may be taken including using cell phone records to determine what was taking place at the time of the incident in question.
No matter how they go about it, your accident lawyer’s primary focus will be on proving that the other party’s reckless actions led to your injuries. In doing so they’ll be able to show that you deserve financial compensation. Distracted driving is a growing problem and one that is incredibly serious for the entire country. Sadly, it’s unlikely to go away and as such we must remain vigilant on our commutes – and understand what our rights are if we’re the victim of an accident involving distracted drivers.