Florida Texting Accident Lawyer
Anything that distracts a driver from the primary task of handing their vehicle is a danger. However, exchanging text messages by cell phone is among the most hazardous types of driver distraction. During the few seconds a driver somewhere along the Treasure Coast looks away to read or tap out and send a text message, their vehicle travels about 100 yards with no one’s eyes on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says texting while driving “is by far the most alarming (driver) distraction.” In 2010, there were 3,092 people killed in distracted driving crashes. An estimated 416,000 more people sustained injuries in motor vehicle wrecks involving a distracted driver, the NHTSA says.
If you have been hurt or a family member has been killed in a texting accident, you could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses you have suffered.
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, helps texting accident victims across South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Palm Beach and Vero Beach. Contact us today through our toll-free number or online form to set up a free consultation.
In addition to our legal work, we are working to create widespread awareness of the dangers of texting while driving and helping to make our roads safer through our Hang Up & Drive! Facebook campaign.
Dangers of Texting While Driving
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says distracted driving is likely to blame in 15 to 25 percent of all car crashes. The NHTSA puts texting while driving at the top of its list of driver distractions due to the fact that texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention. Texting while driving increases the risk of a car crash more than using a cell phone to talk does, the GHSA says.
“Texting while driving” is defined as writing, sending, receiving or reading a text message with a cell phone or other mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.
Sending or receiving a text diverts a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded, the NHTSA says. Texting while driving increases the risk of getting into a wreck by 23 times compared to driving while not distracted.
Younger drivers are most likely to engage in texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving. A study published by the AAA Foundation in March 2012 showed that teen drivers were distracted almost a quarter of the time they were behind the wheel. Texting while driving was among the most frequent distractions among teen drivers, the study said.
The NHTSA says 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal car crashes were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of distracted drivers, the agency says.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) says “driver distraction” was the contributing cause in 2,023 car crashes in the state in 2010. Florida distracted driving accidents resulted in seven fatalities and 1,474 person injuries in 2012.
Florida and Texting-While-Driving Laws
State legislatures are beginning to catch up with the threats texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors pose to our highways. Thirty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, have banned text messaging for all drivers. Five more states prohibit young drivers from texting while driving. And 10 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam prohibit all use of hand-held cell phones while driving.
Florida still has no distracted-driving law as of the start of 2013. However, several bills have been filed in advance of the upcoming legislative session.
In November 2012, the Florida Distracted Driving Summit brought together more than 270 officials, safety advocates and law enforcement officers in Tampa.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, keynote speaker, told the assembled group: “I appreciate and applaud the advocates who are working tirelessly here in Florida to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and their focus on driving.”
LaHood urged Florida to pass distracted-driving legislation.
Contact a Florida Texting Accident Lawyer Today
The Florida texting accident attorneys of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, believe texting while driving is careless and reckless driving. We are dedicated to helping people in Florida who have suffered because of car accidents caused by texting while driving or other forms of distracted driving.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because someone was texting while driving, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries and losses, regardless of whether the law specifically addresses texting while driving.
Since 1975, the car accident attorneys of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, have investigated the circumstances of thousands of auto accidents on behalf of clients in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach. If you’ve been hurt, Philip DeBerard is on your side.
Contact Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney today at our toll-free number or through our online contact form. You can put our Florida texting accident lawyers to work on your case right away.
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