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Florida emphasizes the dangers of being a distracted driver

In an attempt to tamp down on the number of drivers operating their vehicles while distracted, the State of Florida has dubbed April "distracted driving awareness month." Throughout Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is teaming up with various law enforcement agencies and groups dedicated to advocating safe driving practices to remind motorists of the dangers of being a distracted driver. Types of distractions can include texting and driving, eating, speaking to passengers, using a smartphone for web surfing, changing the radio and much more.

Statistics indicate how dangerous and deadly distracted driving can be. There were nearly 46,000 Florida car crashes in 2015 that were linked to distracted driving. Two hundred people died and there were more than 39,000 injuries. Of all the accidents in the state, more than 12 percent were related to distracted driving. More than 15 percent of accidents with an injury and 7.4 percent of fatal accidents involved a distracted driver.

There are three different categories of being distracted while on the road. They are visual, manual and cognitive. Visual involves removing one's eyes from the road. Manual means taking the hands from the wheel. And cognitive involves thinking about factors that have nothing to do with driving. When texting, all three of these categories are affected and it can easily result in a car collision.

Age has a great deal to do with distracted driving. Nearly 20,000 people under the age of 30 were in an auto accident in Florida because of being distracted. Almost 18 percent were between the age of 20 and 24; 14.3 percent were between the ages of 25 and 29; and 11.6 percent were between the ages of 15 and 19.

While state authorities and legislators are trying to make sure that drivers understand the risks inherent with being a distracted driver, it is still a prevalent problem that can cause a significant amount of damage and even death. Those who have been involved in a crash due to a distracted driver need to know their rights to be compensated for their injuries. People who have lost a loved one in an auto accident because of this issue should also be aware of what to do in the aftermath. Contacting an attorney experienced in a wide range of car accidents is important when seeking to file a legal claim.

Source:, "April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month," April 13, 2016

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