Types of Distracted Driving
An 81-year-old man was killed in March 2018 when a distracted driver crashed into his stopped vehicle on Interstate 95, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The man’s 80-year-old wife was severely injured in the accident.
The 22-year-old driver who hit them had two children in the backseat and was traveling 70 miles per hour when the crash happened. Traffic had slowed down because of construction, but witnesses say that the distracted driver never even stepped on her brakes. While the police report didn’t specify what distracted her, it states that she was “inattentive” and “operated (the) motor vehicle in (a) careless or negligent manner.”
Every day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured because of distracted driving, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Distracted driving is a particular problem in Florida.
Florida Known for Distracted Driving
A study released in 2017 found that Florida is the second-worst state in the country for distracted driving. And yet, distracted driving is not a primary offense in Florida. This means that police cannot pull drivers over specifically for texting while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is a secondary offense that can only be cited if the driver is pulled over for another reason (like speeding).
What Is Distracted Driving?
Texting is probably what comes to mind when you think of distracted driving. But it’s not the only activity that can take your attention away from driving.
There are three main distraction types, according to the CDC:
- Visual distractions. A visual distraction is something that takes your eyes off the road, like reading a text message or using a navigation system. But it can also be looking down at the burger in your lap, checking your makeup in the mirror or turning around to reprimand your kids. Anything that directs your attention to somewhere other than the road is a visual distraction.
- Manual distractions. A manual distraction is something that takes your hands off the wheel. For example, if you’re eating and spill something on your lap, taking your hands off the wheel to clean yourself up is a manual (and often a visual) distraction. It’s also a manual distraction if you reach down to pick something off the floor or reach around the seat to grab something behind you. Texting is also an example of a manual distraction.
- Cognitive distractions. A cognitive distraction is something that takes your mind off of driving. If you’re talking on the phone, sending a text or even talking to a passenger in your car then you might not be focused on the road in front of you or the other cars around you.
Any of these types of distractions are dangerous on their own — even more so when you’re distracted in multiple ways (like with texting).
Contact Us Today
Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you were injured by a distracted driver. We will help recover compensation for injuries not covered by your automobile insurance.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Myers, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.