Fort Lauderdale Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Fort Lauderdale law firm fighting for the rights of those injured in South Florida distracted driving accidents
Distracted driving is quickly becoming a safety crisis on our roads and highways. Our national love affair with our phones has even landed Florida the dubious second-worst ranking on EverDrive’s Safe Driving Report for distracted driving. Of course, distracted driving is not a new phenomenon, but with more forms of distraction and more cars on the road today, safety behind the wheel is more critical than ever. In 2016, nearly 50,000 car accidents were attributed to distracted driving—that’s more than five crashes every hour. They accounted for 3,500 injuries and 233 fatalities. Distracted driving kills.
If you’re in a car accident with a distracted driver, you have rights. After a serious accident, you may be left with staggering medical bills and be unable to work. Who will help you pay your bills or recoup your lost wages? At Yeboah Law Group, we believe you shouldn’t have to worry about these details. You should be able to focus on healing. Our aggressive Fort Lauderdale distracted driving lawyers are experienced in working on these types of personal injury cases and want to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is distracted driving in Florida?
When we talk about distracted driving, most of us immediately think of cell phone use. While it’s true that cell phone use—especially texting—is a form of distracted driving, it’s not the only one. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. As you can see, that can encompass a lot of activities. Here’s a list of some things that count as distracted driving:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating and/or drinking
- Navigating/using a GPS
- Using social media sites or apps
- Checking email
- Using a phone’s camera or video app
- Applying makeup or engaging in other personal grooming
- Attending to children or pets
- Changing the radio or music
- Talking to other passengers
All of these activities fall under one or more of three distinct types of distractions, according to studies, and any single one of these types of distractions can cause a serious or fatal accident. The three main types of distractions are:
- Visual distraction happens when a driver takes their eyes off the road to look at something unrelated to the task of driving (example: rubbernecking).
- This type of distraction occurs when your mind wanders from the task of driving and the mental concentration driving required (example: carrying on a phone conversation).
- Manual distraction involves taking one or both hands off the wheel to perform another activity (example: eating or drinking coffee).
Any one of these three is dangerous, but many times distracted driving involves a combination of two, or sometimes even three. For example, if a driver texts behind the wheel, even for a second, they have visual distraction (looking at the screen), cognitive distraction (reading and processing the message), and manual distraction (taking their hand off the wheel to send or return a text). This can be a deadly threesome.
Typical distracted driving accidents
Distraction prevents a driver from accurately or properly reacting to the road and traffic conditions around them. A driver simply cannot be safe unless the task of driving has their full attention. Any distraction increases the risk of an accident.
Common types of distracted driving accidents include low-speed impact collisions, head-on collisions, intersection accidents, side-swipes, “T-bone” accidents, pedestrian accidents, and rear-end collisions.
What are Florida’s distracted driving laws?
Under current 2018 Florida law, police can’t pull over a driver specifically for cell phone use because it’s not a “primary offense”—UNLESS it is a commercial vehicle like an 18-wheeler. With trucks, texting and cell phone use behind the wheel is a primary offense. With regular vehicles, however, the driver must first be pulled over for a primary driving offense (for example, speeding) before they can be given a citation for distracted driving (a “secondary” offense). Florida is one of only four states where texting is still a secondary offense. However, a bill currently in the House would make it a primary offense, in hopes of curtailing cell phone use behind the wheel and decreasing the number of accidents on our Florida roads and highways.
Whether or not distracted driving is a primary or secondary offense, if a distracted driver causes an accident, they may be held liable for damages. If you can prove that the other driver’s distracted driving caused your injuries, you may be able to hold them liable and recover compensation for your losses.
If your injuries are serious or permanent, or will leave significant scarring or disfigurement, you may go outside the no-fault system and file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver for noneconomic damages.
Learn more about distracted driving accidents in South Florida
Our South Florida distracted driving accident attorneys are on your side
Were you or a loved one involved in an accident with a distracted driver? The experienced Fort Lauderdale distracted driving accident attorneys at Yeboah Law Group are ready to help get you the compensation you deserve. We don’t want you to suffer due to someone else’s negligence behind the wheel. Call us at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Se habla español.