Protecting Your Rights If You’ve Been Hurt in a Jacksonville Distracted Driving Car Accident
It’s almost hard to remember a time when we didn’t have cell phones, those small conveniences that keep us in touch. It wasn’t that long ago that cell phones didn’t exist but with them have come the dangers of driving while distracted.
Now we talk all the time, especially while behind the wheel. And increasingly texting behind the wheel is popular. The wireless industry found more than 740 billion texts were sent in just the first half of 2009. That’s Billion!
Effects of Using a Cell Phone While Driving in Florida
The biggest study to date on the effects of cell phone use while driving was conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in July 2009. It showed a texting truck driver was 23 times more likely to crash than their non-texting counterpart. Sending a text takes eyes off the road about 4.6 seconds on average, enough time to cross an entire football field if a driver is going 55 mph. Even more if they are going faster.
The National Safety Council has found that 28% of the 1.6 million car crashes a year are caused by the distractions of talking on the phone or texting.
In 2010, the Florida legislature again considered banning texting or talking on the cell phone while driving, but it failed to pass the legislation. Florida had a chance to join 19 other states that outlaw the practice and the federal government which in 2010 banned texting for commercial truck drivers.
Distracted Driving is Dangerous Driving
In all fairness, listening to a call on a cell phone is not nearly as dangerous or as visually distracting a task as texting. Keeping your eyes on the road is the key to improving driver safety.
Other activities that lead to distracted driving involve even reaching for something in the back seat of a car made a crash risk 1.4 times as high as a non distracted driver. Talking or listening to the cell phone made the risk of a crash 1.3 times as high as the non-distracted driver, and dialing the cell phone increased the risk of a crash or near-crash 2.8 times over a non-distracted driver.
Distracted Driving Behaviors are Common in Jacksonville
Besides cell phones, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that inattention may cause up to 68% of rear-end crashes. Anything that takes your eyes away from the visual task of driving, even tuning in the radio, can cause an accident. Ask yourself if you are guilty of distracted driving? Have you done any of the following in the car:
- Tuned the radio
- Eat, drink, or smoke
- Pick something up from the floor or between the seats
- Read, write
- Reach for the glove compartment
- Talk on the cell phone
- Clean the inside of the windshield
- Argue with another passenger
- Comb or brush your hair
- Break up fights between your kids
- Put on makeup
- Put on contact lenses or use eye drops
- File, clip, or polish your nails?
You have driven distracted if you answer “Yes” to any of the above. Focus on keeping both hands on the wheel, the eyes on the road, and limit conversations while driving. Don’t argue, daydream, or drive while you are tired.
For more information on the hazards of distracted driving, contact a Jacksonville car accident lawyer at Farah & Farah at 855-797-9899.