Distracted driving is any activity while you’re behind the wheel that takes your attention away from driving. Most people see distracted drivers every time they’re on the road—these drivers may be eating, drinking, changing the radio or working their GPS, texting, talking on the phone, or even putting on makeup. The widespread use of cell phones and other electronic devices has increased the problem over the past several years.
Texting is one of the most common distractions. A driver who sends or reads a text takes their eyes off the road for a full five seconds. If they are driving 55 miles per hour, they are essentially taking their eyes off the road for an entire length of a football field. It’s no surprise that this greatly increases the risk of a crash. The chances of being involved in an accident doubles when a driver takes their eyes off the road for more than one second.
Distracted Driving Laws in Florida
Florida ranks as the second-worst state in the country for distracted driving accidents. This is likely because it is not illegal to make or take a call on a cell phone while driving. In fact, talking on a cell phone in Florida is a secondary offense, meaning the police cannot pull you over for it as they can in most other states unless you are committing a larger offense.
Common Injuries in Distracted Driving Crashes
Traveling at high speeds while driving can lead to serious crashes, and if you’re also distracted, these accidents can be serious. Distracted driving can cause a variety of injuries, including:
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Extensive bruising and other soft tissue damage
- Severe head trauma or traumatic brain injuries
When You’re Injured in a Crash With a Distracted Driver
If you are injured in a crash with a distracted driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim, but you should get the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Dealing with insurance companies can put you at a disadvantage because you may not understand the underhanded tactics they use to shift blame and make the accident look like your fault, even if there is clear evidence that it wasn’t.
Additionally, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible and will try to convince you to accept a small settlement. It’s likely their offer will not even come close to covering all of your accident-related expenses, including medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost wages, and other damages. Speaking with an experienced Florida car accident attorney before you talk to an insurance company can help ensure that your rights are protected. It can also prevent you from saying something the insurance company will use against you and put your chances for fair compensation at risk.
Working with an experienced attorney is also essential in gathering evidence for your case. It can be challenging to prove that another driver was distracted when the accident occurred, but if the driver was using a cell phone, an attorney can obtain the driver’s cell phone records with a subpoena. If these records show the at-fault driver was on their phone during the time of the crash, this could provide a powerful piece of evidence to support your claim.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver was distracted, you need an experienced attorney. Attorney Coy Browning was a State Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol and has experience investigating more than a thousand motor vehicle accidents. Give us a call, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, so we can review your legal rights and possible compensation.