3 Most Common Forms of Distracted Driving and Related Accidents

3 Most Common Forms of Distracted Driving and Related Accidents

The FLHSMV reports 268 distracted driving-related fatalities in Florida in 2022. While the fatalities have gone down by 77 from 2021, there were still 53,596 accidents caused by this prevalent issue. This means that there were (on average) 1,116 distracted driving accidents in the Sunshine State each week.

Unfortunately, distracted driving is a leading cause of auto accidents and accident-related fatalities nationwide.

At Fetterman Law, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects these accidents can have. That’s why we think it’s essential to talk about this issue openly and offer advice to help prevent such incidents. A well-informed driver can be a safe driver, reducing the risks for everyone on the road.

Learn more about the issue of distracted driving here, and contact our office if you have been in an accident with a distracted driver. We are here to help accident victims seek justice.

Texting and Driving

Texting and driving have significantly contributed to road accidents throughout Florida. In 2021, cases of texting and driving led to 333 fatalities. This does not account for the thousands of injuries that occurred.

Legal Implications

In Florida, the law takes texting while driving very seriously. It is considered a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can pull you over if they suspect you are texting behind the wheel. The penalties for this offense can be quite steep. You may face fines and points on your driver’s license, leading to increased insurance premiums.

Additionally, if a texting and driving violation results in a crash causing bodily injuries, the penalties ramp up significantly. Depending on the accident’s severity, it could involve hefty fines, a rise in insurance rates, and even criminal charges.

At Fetterman Law, our car accident lawyers frequently assist victims of distracted driving accidents to navigate the complex legal landscape that follows such incidents, helping them get the justice they deserve.

Prevention Tips

To curb texting and driving, you must develop safe driving habits. Simple steps such as turning off notifications while driving or keeping your phone out of reach can be life-saving. Additionally, using apps that restrict phone use while driving can be beneficial.

Driving Under the Influence

It is estimated that for one of every 110 miles driven in Florida, a person with a BAC higher than 0.08% was behind the wheel. In 2020, 746 fatalities were caused by an accident where drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two were involved.

Unfortunately, those who get behind the wheel inebriated are making a selfish decision that can change their lives and the lives of others in a second. All of these accidents could be prevented. However, this requires more awareness and education on the dangers of driving under the influence.

Legal Implications

In Florida, the legal repercussions of DUI are severe and designed to deter individuals from getting behind the wheel while impaired. The law stipulates that drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher are considered to be driving under the influence.

Upon conviction, the penalties range from fines and license suspension to mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in the offender’s vehicle. In graver situations where the DUI leads to accidents involving bodily harm or death, the perpetrator might face substantial jail time. It’s a grim picture where the guidance of experienced car accident lawyers like those at Fetterman Law becomes indispensable.

Prevention Tips

Preventing DUI accidents starts with individual responsibility. It means choosing not to drink and drive, no matter the circumstances. Other ways to avoid these accidents include making arrangements for a designated driver, utilizing ride-sharing services, or staying overnight at a friend’s place are all safer alternatives. If you are hosting a party, offering non-alcoholic beverages and encouraging guests to have a sober designated driver can go a long way in preventing DUI incidents.

Fatigued Driving

In 2021, drowsy drivers were responsible for almost 4,000 accidents on Florida roadways. Unfortunately, driving while tired can have life-altering consequences for you and others.

Many people who drive while fatigued claim they were trying to “power through” to reach their destination. This is not a smart move. It can be a deadly one.

Legal Implications

Fatigued driving, while not always easy to prove, can have serious legal repercussions in Florida. Although there isn’t a specific statute addressing drowsy driving, it can fall under the umbrella of reckless or careless driving, which Florida law prohibits. If it is determined that a driver caused an accident due to fatigue, they may face charges akin to those leveled in other distracted driving accidents.

Penalties can range from fines to points on the driver’s license and, in extreme cases,

imprisonment. Furthermore, if personal injury or property damage occurs due to fatigued driving, the driver might face a civil lawsuit for damages. In such complex situations, having a seasoned car accident lawyer, such as the team at Fetterman Law, can prove invaluable in navigating the legal complexities that ensue.

Prevention Tips

Preventing fatigued driving is essential in reducing the number of accidents on the roads. Individuals should avoid driving if they feel drowsy or lack sufficient sleep. It is advisable to take regular breaks on long journeys to avoid monotony and fatigue setting in. Employing the buddy system, where two drivers can switch turns, is also a practical solution.

Ultimately, it boils down to personal responsibility and recognizing when driving is unsafe. We urge everyone to prioritize safety for themselves and the wider community, helping reduce distracted driving accidents in Florida.

What to Do if You Are Involved in a Florida Accident

In the unfortunate accident in Florida, it is crucial to remain calm and take systematic steps to protect yourself legally and physically. First and foremost, ensure your safety and that of others by moving to a safe location, if possible. Next, call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention.

Document the accident scene by capturing photos and gathering witness statements if possible. This evidence could be vital in any subsequent legal proceedings. It’s advisable to contact a proficient car accident lawyer early on to guide you in this critical time, safeguarding your interests and helping you navigate the complexities of Florida’s legal landscape.

At Fetterman Law, we are equipped to handle the intricacies that come with different distracted driving accidents, offering you the support and expertise necessary in such trying times.

Understanding the Impact of Distracted Driving and Related Accidents in Florida

Distracted driving caused accidents, whether due to texting, driving under the influence, or fatigued driving, remains a pressing issue on Florida roads. Through awareness and education, we can foster a community of responsible drivers.

While knowing how to stay safe is essential, accidents still happen. If you need legal representation after an auto accident in Florida, our legal team at Fetterman Law is here to help. Call our office to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. You can count on us to help you hold the at-fault party responsible and to help you recover the full compensation you deserve.