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Distracted Driving on The Rise in Florida

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A Florida man managed to escape injuries after his car plummeted some 50 feet off an elevated highway. The 61-year-old man lost control of his vehicle after becoming distracted with his radio. He was wearing a seatbelt and alcohol was not a factor in the accident according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Unfortunately, accidents like these are on the rise. Distracted driving is a factor in some 25 to 50 percent of motor vehicle accidents, according to statistics. In 2017, some 50,000 car accidents in Florida were caused by distracted driving. Drivers most frequently involved in these accidents are 20 to 29 years of age, and most occur due to mobile technology.

Florida Distracted Driving Laws 

Under current distracted driving laws in Florida, police are not allowed to pull a driver over specifically for using a cell phone because it is not a primary offense. In order for a police officer to ticket a driver for distracted driving, they must cite the driver for another primary offense first. Florida is one of only a handful of states, including South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Ohio, that do not consider distracted driving a primary offense.

What is Distracted Driving? 

Distracted driving results any time you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off driving. This type of activity not only puts you in danger, but those around you. Some types of distracted driving require only your mind, hands, or eyes to be distracted, but texting requires all three, making it one of the most dangerous distracted driving activities. Other activities can include adjusting the stereo, eating, reading, daydreaming, child distractions, reading billboards, and unrestrained pets, just to name a few.

What to Do if You’ve Been in a Distracted Driving Accident 

There are many things that you should do if you’ve been in an accident. This includes calling 911 if there are injuries and reporting the accident to police. You will also need to exchange insurance and contact information if another party has been involved, but there are a few additional steps you can take that could help your case if you have been injured due to another person’s negligence.

First, if you are able to, take pictures of the damages to the vehicles as well as the surroundings including skid marks and debris. Be cautious about making statements to the other party or the insurance company, and never admit fault, even if you feel like you may have been partially responsible.

Even if you feel like you haven’t suffered any injuries, it is still a good idea to see a doctor. Some injuries don’t produce any symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident. Tell your physician about your accident and be sure he documents the accident in your chart.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney 

Personal injury cases in Florida can be extremely complex. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that a judge will assign each party involved in the accident a percentage of fault. If they find that you had even a little bit of fault, it could reduce your compensation.

Having an attorney that is experienced in these complex laws will help you meet the requirements of the law and can help you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve under the law. The attorneys at the Leifer Law Firm in Boca Raton have a combined 25 years of experience handling distracted driving personal injury cases. Call us today to schedule a consultation so you can be sure that your case is being handled quickly and professionally.

Resources:

flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/distracted-driving/

usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2018-04-19/police-distracted-driver-unhurt-after-cars-50-foot-plunge

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