The Consequences of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is dangerous and potentially deadly when a driver's attention diverts from the road. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), “There are three types of distraction: manual, which is taking hands off the wheel; visual, or taking eyes off the road; and cognitive, which involves taking one’s mind off driving.” Distracted driving can take many forms, including texting, eating, and reading while driving or conversing with passengers.
It may only take five seconds to send that text, but the consequences of your action can last a lifetime. Today, according to UC Davis Health, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of teen death and injury in the U.S. Distracted driving increases the risk of crashing, leading to serious injuries or even death.
Even a minor crash can result in significant property damage, medical bills, and loss of income due to time off work. In addition to the physical and financial consequences, distracted driving can have emotional and psychological effects on those involved, such as trauma, anxiety, and grief.
On top of personal consequences, there are social and economic costs associated with distracted driving. According to Money Geek, these costs can include increased insurance premiums, healthcare costs, driving citations, and other fees to clear your driving record.
Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving
Put Your Phone and Other Electronic Devices Away
One of the most effective strategies to prevent a car accident is simply putting away phones and other electronic devices while driving. FDOT is committed to eliminating crashes caused by distracted driving and developed the Put It Down campaign, which focuses on helping drivers. Here are key points of their campaign to keep in mind:
- Understand the problem and risks of distracted driving.
- Implement specific steps to help eliminate distracted driving within your families, schools, businesses, or organizations.
- Discern how to keep ourselves, other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe on our roadways.
- Understand the distracted driving law in Florida.
Appointing a passenger as the "designated texter" can help the driver focus on the road as they can handle any phone-related tasks. Another resource created by FDOT and Geico, known as safe phone zones, gives Florida drivers 64 designated rest areas, welcome centers, and turnpike service plazas to give drivers a safe location to pull off when they need to use their phones for calling, texting, and mobile apps.
Limit Your Conversations
Another effective way to prevent distracted driving is limiting your conversations with your passengers. This can be tough, especially with young children in the car, but it's important to know as a driver and a passenger that keeping chat minimal can help avoid distracted driving and a potential car accident. At a minimum, passengers should consider everyone’s safety when riding in someone else’s car. Every effort you make to remove sources of distraction favors road safety.
In addition to individual efforts you and your passengers could make, there are also laws and regulations to discourage distracted driving. Many states enacted laws prohibiting texting or requiring individuals to use hands-free devices while driving. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, “Florida has a handheld ban on cell phones in school and work zones only, but texting while driving is completely covered and banned for drivers.” These laws can raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and deter people from engaging in this behavior.
Distracted driving is a serious issue with significant consequences for drivers, passengers, and others on the road. It can lead to severe injuries and even death and can create a lasting impact on families and friends. To prevent distracted driving and reduce the risks associated with this behavior, individuals should take personal responsibility and follow their state’s implemented laws and regulations that discourage distracted driving.
At Carrillo Injury Law, we give you access to the knowledge and experience to get compensated for any injuries on the road as a driver or a passenger. Don’t let a personal injury or distracted driver stop you from moving forward. Call us at 352-371-4000 or email email@example.com for a no-charge, no-commitment consultation.