Of the many dangers on the road in Jacksonville and throughout Florida that we have to contend with, perhaps the greatest hazard of them all is: ourselves.
According to the NHTSA, we are driving ourselves to deadly distraction- to the tune of 5,474 traffic fatalities in 2009 alone. Although any activity that can divert a person’s attention away from the task of driving – such as eating, talking to passengers, grooming, or adjusting a car radio – is considered distracted driving, it is cell phone use and texting while driving that is drawing the greatest scrutiny from state governments and federal agencies.
According to various studies, drivers who use a hand-held device while driving are 4 times more likely to get into crashes while those who send and receive texts create a crash risk 23 times greater than driving while not distracted. Sending and receiving a text while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. A vehicle going 55 mph covers an entire football field in that time.
Even more frightening, 40% of American teens say that they have been in cars where driver cell phone use put people in danger.
While 9 states currently prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones and 35 states ban texting while driving, Florida has no restrictions on cell phone use while driving. In November of 2011, the Department of Transportation (DOT) prohibited the use of hand-held cell phones by interstate truck and bus drivers while operating their vehicles.
Driving any vehicle should command a person’s complete and full attention. If you have been injured in a Florida accident by a distracted driver, call a Farah & Farah Florida personal injury attorney at (800) 533-3555 today.