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The Dangerous Reality Of Distracted Driving In Florida

Florida woman demonstrating distracted driving by staring at her phone.
Under Florida law, there are three categories of distracted driving that include visual, physical, and mental distractions.

Distracted driving is a recurring problem across the nation, but it’s an even bigger issue for the Sunshine State. In 2019, there were 2,928 serious bodily injuries and 271 fatalities as a result of distracted driving.

Unfortunately, this type of driving continues to claim the lives of thousands and injures even more each year. 

 

Shockingly, Florida is home to Interstate 4, one of the most dangerous highways in the country. The 132-mile stretch from Tampa to Daytona Beach has topped the charts for the most dangerous highways list since 2010.

 

To keep Floridians aware and safe on the roads, Rick Kolodinsky, P.A., experienced Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer is here to educate you on the ins and outs of distracted driving and the types of distracted driving you should be aware of.

What is distracted driving?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides a clear definition of distracted driving. 

Distracted driving is anything that does the following:

  • Takes your hands off the wheel;
  • Takes your eyes off the road; or
  • Takes your mind off driving.

While there are several ways to be distracted while driving, the act of distracted driving itself can be divided into three (3) primary categories.

Three categories of distracted driving in Florida​

Mom demonstrating distracted driving by turning around to check on child.
Parents may struggle with distracted driving when turning around to check on their child passengers.

The three main types of distractions include the following:

  1. Visual: This distraction causes you to take your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: This distraction causes you to take your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: This distraction causes you to think about anything other than driving

Even our daily habits can allow us to participate in distracted driving. Acts such as having pets in the car, smoking, eating and drinking, daydreaming, and even talking to another driver are all single forms of distracted driving.  

 

Even though we can divide distractions into three sections, they often overlap. 

 

For instance, a driver turning around to make sure a child is sitting in a car seat and takes his or her eyes off the road and hands off the wheel is a perfect example of every category of distracted driving in action. 

 

Texting and driving is yet another example of all three categories of distracted driving. Below is a real-life example of distracted driving from this year.

Tragic example of distracted driving in Florida

In May 2020, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that a distracted driver, who was looking at her phone, caused a two-vehicle collision on I-95. The accident left a person pronounced dead at the scene.  Tragic accidents like the one described above is the reason why Florida lawmakers are constantly taking measures to reduce the amount of distracted driving and provide residents with some form of security on Florida roads.

How Florida is combating distracted driving

Florida lawmakers have been working hard to put rules in place to prevent distracted driving. The most recent law includes the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law: This law is also known as the Wireless Communications While Driving Law that went into full effect on January 1, 2020. This law requires drivers to put their phones down in order to focus solely on driving. 

 

The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving law was made in an effort to prevent car crashes, improve the safety of Florida’s roads, reduce injuries, deaths, and insurance rates. 

 

Anyone found violating this law will receive a base fine of $30 for a first offense, while a second offense within five years of the first one will receive a base fine of $60 and three points against your driver’s license.

Preventing distracted driving

According to the National Safety Council, ending distracted driving is everyone’s responsibility. So, what can you do to prevent distracted driving?   To practice safe driving habits, you should do the following:
  • Put your cell phone away. A purse or glove compartment is a great location.
  • Use the hands-free option if available in your vehicle
  • Do not wear earbuds while driving
  • If your phone is in your vicinity, do not attempt to check emails or text messages
  • Pay attention to the rules of the road
If for some reason you just can’t put your phone out of sight and out of mind, adjust the volume on the phone. You can put the phone on silent before you step into the vehicle to keep you focused on driving.

Were you a victim of a distracted driving accident? Give us a call today

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving distracted driving in Florida, you do not have to shoulder the burden alone. Daytona Beach personal injury attorney Rick Kolodinsky, P.A. is well-qualified to handle your personal injury case with over 30 years of experience. 

 

Let our firm handle your case with professionalism, compassion, and the knowledge needed to pursue full and fair compensation for your accident injuries. Enforcing your rights in an injury case begins with you, so contact us online or give us a call at 386-253-9790 to schedule your free consultation.

Mr. Kolodinsky has been honored by his induction into this prestigious nationwide organization of trial lawyers. Of some 900 lawyers in Volusia Country there are four lawyers so honored.

- American Board of Trial Advocates
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Rick Kolodinsky, P.A.

647 S Ridgewood Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Phone: (386) 253-9790

Email: info@rickkolodinskypa.com