Many drivers are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving, yet many still find themselves engaging in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness about this dangerous epidemic.
Florida is considered the second worst state for distracted driving. Based on data gathered by the EverDrive app, about 92% of drivers in the U.S. have texted, posted, dialed, or used a cellphone while driving. The EverDrive app collects data by using a motion sensor. The app can measure speed, sudden acceleration, aggressive driving, braking, and other movements while the driver’s phone is being used. The app logged more than 230 miles during the study period.
Based on the data, Floridians were on their phones during 41% of all trips; the average for the U.S. was 34 to 37% of trips.
Though smartphones are a primary distraction, there are many other disruptions that can take your attention away from the road. Distracted driving is defined as anything that is a visual, manual or cognitive distraction. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, manual distractions lead to drivers taking their hands off the wheel, while cognitive distractions cause drivers to think about anything other than driving.
Some of the more common types of distractions include:
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to passengers
- GPS and other in-car technology
- Being lost in thought
In 2006, researchers from a University of Utah study found that talking on a cellphone was about as dangerous as drunk driving – even while drivers were using a hands-free device. An Australian study from 2013 revealed that children were 12 times more distracting to drivers than talking on a phone.
Although technology has helped to make driving safer, it’s also causing more distractions as drivers fiddle with their in-vehicle infotainment systems.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were nearly 50,000 distracted driving accidents in 2016, which equates to more than five distracted driving crashes every hour.
As drivers become complacent while they drive, often knowing precise routes and having driven through specific areas dozens of times, they’re more likely to forget how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road, even for a second.
Although April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, drivers should always be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, as one misstep can lead to lifelong consequences.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, Justin Weinstein can help you determine your legal options. Don’t go it alone against insurance companies – contact a car accident lawyer you can trust.
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