Florida Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
Injured by a Distracted Driver Who Was Texting, Eating, or Talking on the Phone?
Distracted driving is currently a leading cause of traffic accidents and deaths within the United States. Most American states have passed ordinances that ban text messaging and using a cell phone while driving an automobile, yet people continue engaging in this and other such distracting behavior behind the wheel.
Since 1994, the law firm of Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. has represented clients injured by distracted drivers throughout South Florida. Our team of Florida distracted driving accident attorneys possesses decades of courtroom experience and has recovered over $300 million in damages on behalf of our injured clients. Whether you have been injured by a driver who was texting, daydreaming, or falling asleep at the wheel, we have what it takes to fight for you. We are happy to discuss your legal rights and options during a free, no obligation case evaluation at your earliest convenience.
Ready to learn more? Get started with a free initial consultation by calling our firm at (954) 504-6577 or contacting us online.
Visual, Manual & Cognitive Distractions While Driving
Common distractions while driving include:
- Talking on the phone/texting
- Using a GPS or radio
- Talking to passengers in the car
- Dealing with kids or pets in the car
- Daydreaming or “zoning out”
- Falling asleep
- Eating and/or drinking
- Looking at signs, billboards, places, and other roadside attractions
- Personal grooming, such as applying makeup
The distractions that motorists face behind the wheel can be divided into three categories:
- Visual distractions are often a serious problem while driving, such as when an automobile driver is looking at a cell phone to dial a number or text a friend. Other visual distractions may include looking at billboards, trying to read road signs, and enjoying beautiful views.
- Manual distractions occur when a driver feels the need to use one or both hands for something other than steering. When a driver presses a keypad while driving instead of holding a steering wheel correctly, they are not giving enough attention to the road. Other manual distractions may include grooming, eating, and changing the radio station.
- Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s mental attention is directed elsewhere. This may occur when a motorist is engaged in a conversation with a passenger or is responding to a text and is distracted. Cognitive distractions may also include enhanced emotional states that cause a driver to pay less attention (such a road rage or distress) as well as daydreaming.
Florida Distracted Driving Law & Statistics
Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,142 persons killed throughout the United States in the year 2019 because of distracted driving crashes. The state of Florida recorded a total of 48,537 crashes in 2020 and that involved distracted driving, 308 of which were distracted driving fatalities. This was a major increase from the 267 fatalities the year before.
The Department of Transportation has begun an effort to stop text messaging and cell phone use behind the wheel. There are various forms of distracted driving that are contributing to this national epidemic.
Learning More About State & National Bans
Several national bans have been implemented that address visual, manual, and cognitive driving distractions. National distracted driving summits were held in 2009, which banned text messaging and cell phone use for commercial drivers. There were several campaigns launched to raise more public awareness of this vehicular issue.
Most jurisdictions have passed state ordinances for distracted driving, including the following:
- There are 39 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that have banned text messaging for all drivers. Some states have partial bans; Florida itself has no statewide texting and driving ban.
- A total of 23 states (as of 2021), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have prohibited all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
- The laws that have been passed are primary laws that relate to driving an automobile. This means that a traffic officer can ticket a driver for a driving offense, without other traffic violations taking place. Several jurisdictions have determined that text messaging and using a cell phone while driving are primary laws. Text messaging has been determined a secondary law in other jurisdictions. This means that an officer can ticket for text messaging, if another offense is in progress, including speeding.
Head to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) website to view distracted driving laws and cell phone bans by state.
How We Can Help
If you believe you have been wrongfully injured by someone that was texting and driving, or was distracted during some other activity, please don’t hesitate to call one of our car accident attorneys at Zimmerman & Frachtman for a free case review. We can help you determine whether you have a case, calculate how much in damages you are rightfully owed, and help you obtain the fair and just compensation you deserve. We always seek maximum compensation for our clients so they can better recover and move on from this horrible event. We can assist with wrongful death claims as well.
Contact us online or call (954) 504-6577 to learn more during a free, confidential consultation. Se habla Español.
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