According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,328 people died in 2012 in auto accidents involving distracted drivers. Another 421,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) offers further evidence that distracted driving is a major problem. According to FLHSMV, the number of distracted driver accidents in Florida has increased by 25 percent since 2012. If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in any type of car accident, contact the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to schedule a free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. We want to help you recover your losses.
Types of Distracted Driving that Causes Car Accidents
Research shows that teenagers account for about 12 percent of distracted driving accidents even though only five percent of Florida’s drivers are 19 or younger. Drivers between 20 and 29 account for 31 percent of distracted driving crashes. While young people experience the most distracted driving accidents, anyone can become distracted behind the wheel.
Florida has taken steps to lower the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers on its roads. In 2014, the state passed a ban on texting while driving. According to this law, drivers may not read or type electronic messages while operating motor vehicles. Texting gets a lot of attention for causing distracted driving accidents, but it isn’t the only reason drivers get distracted.
There are three broad categories of distraction that may contribute to accidents:
- Visual disturbance: any activity that takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual distraction: any activity that requires taking your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distraction: anything takes your mind off of driving tasks.
Sending and reading text messages puts drivers in significant danger because it often involves all three types of distractions.
Other activities that cause distraction may include:
- Talking on the phone;
- Searching for a radio station;
- Adjusting radio volume;
- Looking at GPS devices for directions;
- Quieting disruptive passengers; and
- Reading maps.
Even a brief distraction can cause an accident. Just looking away from the road for a few seconds can cause a serious accident, especially when vehicles are moving at rapid speeds.
Accident Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers
Injuries caused by distracted driving accidents are similar to those experienced in other types of vehicle collisions. Common injuries in distracted driving crashes include:
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Extensive bruising;
- Spine damage; and
- Severe head trauma.
The stress of an accident can also exacerbate existing medical conditions. A person with a heart condition, for instance, may go into cardiac arrest shortly after a serious accident.
Pursuing Compensation for an Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver
Since Florida uses a no-fault auto insurance system, the victims of distracted driving accidents can often use their insurance policies to pay for immediate medical care and property damage. In many cases, though, victims experience injuries that exceed the minimum $10,000 of coverage required by Florida law. Injuries can include lost wages and disability as well as immediate medical care and the cost of repairing vehicles.
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives victims up to four years to file lawsuits. The court will likely dismiss your case if you try to seek compensation after this time has passed.
Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers Want to Help
An experienced lawyer at the Montero Law Center will file your claim forms on time and ensure that the evidence submitted with your claim demonstrates you were the victim of a distracted driving accident. Contact us at 954-767-6500 to learn more about your rights and how you can get the financial compensation you deserve.