Smartphones are everywhere nowadays. While they provide ubiquitous communication and many other advantages, there has been an unforeseen side effect: Drivers are constantly tempted to distract themselves while driving. Accidents caused by drivers texting, emailing, talking, or engaging in other behaviors besides paying attention to the road have been consistently rising in recent years. Many Americans see distracted driving as being just as if not more dangerous than even drunk driving. They are not wrong to be worried: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed 3,166 people in 2017 alone.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed by a distracted driver, call a distracted driving accident attorney as soon as possible to see if you are entitled to compensation. You have the right to seek damages from a distracted driver, including temporary or permanent disability, pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, emergency medical costs, physical therapy and nursing care, disability, and any other expenses or damages you have suffered because of a distracted driver. Southern Florida distracted driving accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., have spent decades recovering monetary damages for our clients after being injured in accidents caused by distracted and otherwise negligent drivers.
Texting and Driving in Florida
Florida is no exception to the epidemic of distracted driving that is injuring and killing motorists, cyclists, bikers, and pedestrians across the country. According to Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are nearly 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving every year.
Distracted driving is generally broken into three types of distraction: Visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction occurs when a driver takes their eyes off the road; manual distraction involves a driver taking their hands off the wheel; and cognitive distraction consists of a driver putting their attention on something other than driving. Texting while driving hits all three forms of distraction and is extremely dangerous as a result. Safety experts point out that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds to respond to a text message while traveling at 55 mph is like driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded. Even a focused driver will travel nearly the same distance before coming to a complete stop when they notice a road hazard. If the driver was texting, the distance is likely to double, effectively preventing them from avoiding a car, pedestrian, or other road hazard.
Distracted driving is, quite simply, a dangerous habit. If you or a family member has been injured or killed due to the actions of a distracted driver, you have the right to be compensated for the harm you have suffered. The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. is here to help you get the compensation you need.
Florida’s Distracted Driving Law
As of July 1, 2019, it is now illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle in Florida while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, or symbols in a wireless communication device–that means no texting, emailing, or instant messaging. Moreover, drivers cannot use a handheld device at all while in a school zone or work zone area.
The new law is a response to the large number of distracted driving injuries and deaths over the past decade. Violation of a traffic safety law such as this is strong proof of negligence in a personal injury case. If you were hit by a driver who was texting while driving, or if a distracted driver hit your child in a school zone, you are likely entitled to compensation from that driver or their insurance provider. Speak with a dedicated Florida distracted driving accident lawyer to learn about your potential claims and how to start building your claims for recovery.
Dedicated Advice and Representation After Your Naples Distracted Driving Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed by a distracted driver in Naples, Orlando, or throughout Collier and Orange counties, reach out to a talented Naples distracted driving accident lawyer for help. The competent and compassionate Florida distracted driving accident legal team at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., is ready to hear your case. Call our Naples law office today at 239-649-8050 for a free consultation, and find out whether you may be entitled to damages after your Florida distracted driving crash.