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Published On: Wed, Apr 25th, 2018

Consequences of Distracted Driving in Florida

According to the Association for International Road Travel, about 1.3 million die as a result of a vehicle crash every year.

There are multiple factors that come into play when an accident occurs. Sometimes collisions are caused by environmental circumstances like snowstorms, or by reckless and aggressive driving habits.

Photo/Ed Brown via wikimedia commons

But one of the most common, and preventable, causes of car crashes is distracted driving.

April 2018 is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council.

They provide a variety of statistics concerning the habits of distracted drivers, including use of technology – hands-free devices and smartphones – and how they contribute to auto accidents.

The NSC reports that 94% of accidents are caused by driver error, and approximately 7% of people are using a cell phone while driving at any given time.

The epidemic has become so large that even smartphone creators like Apple have installed safe driving modes that prevent people from receiving text and app notifications while driving.

The state of Florida has its own state-specific initiative called “Focus on Driving,” employing the hashtag “#FocusonDrivingFL” on various social media platforms.

The Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles recently released extensive crash data (as of March 26, 2018) related to distracted driving, broken down by county.

The three counties with the highest incidence of distracted driving crashes in 2017 were Orange County with nearly 7,000, Hillsborough County with over 5,000 and finally, Miami-Dade County with just over 4,400 collisions.

Not surprisingly, this county data corresponds with some of the most highly-trafficked urban areas in the state of Florida – Orlando, Tampa and Miami.

Despite the influence of technology on society’s driving habits, it’s important to note that there are other distractions that drivers should be cognizant of when operating a vehicle.

General inattentiveness caused over 34,000 accidents in Florida in 2017. When operating a vehicle, it’s important to be well-rested and alert to avoid any potential collisions. Other types of distractions that attributed to the total 49,288 accidents in 2017 were external distraction, other people in the car and navigation devices.

In terms of legislation in place to combat distracted driving, there is already a texting while driving ban in place in Florida. It is a secondary offense, classified as a non-moving violation with a fine of $20.

Although the fine is inconsequential, the potential injuries and lives that could be lost as a result of a vehicular collision is a far greater price.

According to a recent article by Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked, texting and driving personal injury lawsuits are on the rise. With 92% of drivers admitting to using their phone while driving at some point, it’s no wonder that accidents are occurring frequently throughout the nation. Specifically in Florida, some recent accident victims have been awarded millions of dollars in damages.

Author: Adam Gingery

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. Distracted driving isn’t worth the risk; put the phone down | Letters | Self-driving cars says:

    […] Consequences of Distracted Driving in Florida  The Global Dispatch […]

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