Florida Is the Second Worst State for Distracted Driving
Driving is so commonplace that we often take for granted just how much concentration is required to safely operate a vehicle. That may explain why so many people use their phones and get distracted while driving, which can cause a serious collision. It’s also why we need to take the findings of a 2017 study seriously.
According to the online insurance firm EverQuote Inc., Florida is the second worst state in the country for distracted driving. Here, the Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL, car accident attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau take a look at this data. We will then discuss what you can do to be safe while on the road.
The 2017 Data on Distracted Driving
According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, 92 percent of American drivers used the phone while operating their vehicle during the 30 days of the study. Louisiana was the worst state in terms of distracted driving, followed by Florida.
EverQuote Inc. compiled its data using a motion-sensing app called EverDrive. EverDrive was able to record instances of sudden acceleration, hard braking, sharp turns, and other potentially reckless actions in a vehicle. The motion-sensing app recorded approximately 2.7 million vehicle trips spanning 230 million miles.
While the numbers are alarming, it’s important to note that the EverDrive app did not account for a cell phone used in a hands-free set, which is much safer than holding a phone in your hand or between the ear and shoulder.
The Dangers of Cell Phone Use While Driving
Using a cell phone while driving draws a person’s attention from the road. If you’re texting while driving, it also means at least one hand is off the wheel. Eyes off the road and hands off the wheel are a recipe for disaster.
An interesting fact to consider: Someone who texts while driving on the highway will travel the length of a football field in the few seconds it takes to read and start composing a message.
How Deadly Is Distracted Driving?
The Sun Sentinel article cited 2016 statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which attributed 233 deaths and more than 3,500 serious injuries to distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 2,841 nationwide fatalities from distracted driver crashes in 2018. That death toll includes 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists, as well as 1,730 drivers and 605 passengers.
Driver Cell Phone Use May Be Higher Than We Think
While the numbers noted above are sobering, it’s important to note that distracted driving may be even more common than we realize.
The Sun Sentinel article interviewed Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida Highway Patrol, who noted that drivers are not likely to admit that they were using their cell phone just prior to an auto accident. It’s likely that there are many more distracted driving crashes than the numbers show.
Other Forms of Distracted Driving
While cell phone use is the most commonly cited cause of distraction, other activities can divert attention from the road. These include:
- Eating while driving
- Adjusting hair or clothing while driving
- Applying makeup while driving
- Reaching for an object in the backseat or on the ground
Contact Our Law Firm for More Information
When a distracted driver causes an auto accident, it’s important that they are held accountable for their negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision, we encourage you to contact our team of attorneys online or call our Daytona Beach law office at (386) 258-7313.