Miami Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer
Distractions come in many forms, and they have always been something drivers have had to deal with, but over the past several years, distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions. After decades of declining car accident rates, crash rates have recently begun to rise, in line with the rise of cellphones, smartphones, social media and in-vehicle infotainment systems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, since 2015 distracted driving has been responsible for 10% of fatal car accidents and 15% of accidents involving injury every year. Additionally, the National Safety Council says cellphone use is responsible for 30% of all car accidents annually.
Putting aside distractions and keeping attention focused on driving is absolutely vital to staying safe and preventing avoidable car accidents from causing serious injury to others on the road. Distracted driving is a form of negligence, and distracted drivers can be held fully accountable for all of the harm caused by their negligence. Miami personal injury attorney Brandon L. Chase is committed to helping car accident injury victims obtain the maximum available compensation after a serious injury. With offices in Coral Gables and Key West, the Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase helps distracted driving car accident victims in Miami, South Florida and statewide.
What exactly is “distracted driving”?
Many different types of activities serve as examples of distracted driving. Safety experts group these unsafe activities into three types of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive.
- Manual distractions – The driver’s hands are taken off the wheel. Eating while driving or getting something out of the glove compartment are examples of manual distractions.
- Visual distractions – The driver’s eyes are taken off the road. Checking written directions or looking at a map on the driver’s phone or in-vehicle navigation are visual distractions, as is reading written material or checking in on social media on a smartphone.
- Cognitive distractions – The driver’s mind is taken off the task of driving. Thinking about work or daydreaming are cognitive distractions, as is talking to others while driving, whether they are present in the car or over a hands-free cellphone device.
Many distracted driving behaviors involve two classes of distractions or even all three. Texting while driving, interacting with the vehicle’s infotainment console, and applying makeup are examples of distracted driving that involve manual, visual and cognitive distractions. The risk of a distracted driving car accident increases greatly as more types of distractions are involved.
Isn’t texting while driving illegal in Florida?
According to the United States Department of Transportation, texting while driving raises the likelihood of a crash a staggering 23 times. Other studies show that talking on a cellphone impairs driving as much as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, texting while driving does not have the same social stigma as drunk driving, and the two dangerous activities are not at all treated equally under the law. In fact, texting while driving is not even a criminal offense in Florida but is instead classified as an infraction, and the penalty in most cases is a traffic ticket costing between one hundred and two hundred dollars. Texting while driving is also what’s known as a secondary offense, meaning the police can’t pull over and ticket a driver just because they observed the driver texting. They can only cite a driver for texting while driving if they had some other reason to stop the driver, like for speeding or running a red light.
Talking on a cell phone is not restricted at all under Florida law. While many states allow only hands-free communication, drivers in Florida may legally hold the phone while driving, an activity which involves both manual and cognitive distractions.
Dedicated Miami Personal Injury Attorney for Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Distracted driving is negligent driving, and distracted drivers can be held liable for the damages caused in a car accident by their negligence. For help securing compensation for serious injuries after a distracted driving car accident in Miami, South Florida or statewide, call the Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase at 305-677-2228 for a free case evaluation by an experienced and successful Miami personal injury lawyer.