Nowadays, it is common to hear on the news about a person who was injured or died as a result of texting while driving. Specifically, texting while driving is a leading cause of accidents for teens and young adults, claiming thousands of lives each year across the U.S. The reason why it is so dangerous is that it reduces a driver’s ability to react in the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident caused by texting while driving. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that reading a text message can take a driver’s eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. When going 55 miles per hour, this roughly equates to driving the entire length of a football field without looking where you are going.
In light of the above, it is important to realize that texting while driving is but one of many forms of distractions that can result in serious and fatal accidents. In 2011, over 3,300 people were killed in accidents caused by a distracted driver, including texting, with about 387,000 others who were badly injured. Our Miami car accident lawyers found a list of distractions that led to these accidents involved the following:
• Texting or emailing
• Using a phone (whether a smartphone or iPhone)
• Talking to passengers • Using an iPad, iPod, laptop or other distraction-causing device • Eating and/or drinking • Grooming oneself (i.e. shaving, applying make-up, brushing one’s hair)
• Reading a map • Using a GPS system of navigation • Watching videos • Adjusting a car radio • Improperly securing a pet
While the statistics provided above are extremely alarming, the good news is that distracted driving accidents can easily be prevented. The following common sense steps can help you to avoid these types of serious accidents and ultimately, save your life:
• Realize that it can wait. Do not text or respond to texts while driving. If you must respond or address the text message, pull over to a safe location before doing so.
• Pull to the side of the road before programming your GPS. This is a simple, yet crucial step that can save your life.
• Decide on a radio station before driving your car and also, keep its volume at a reasonable level. Since changing radio stations and blasting a radio can cause significant distractions while driving, play it safe and choose a station (and a reasonable volume level) before you leave for your destination.
• Do not eat or drink while driving. Despite the temptation to pick up fast food and drive off while munching on your dinner, it is always better for you to pull over and finish your meal. Eating and drinking leads to many unnecessary accidents, and that is why eating beforehand is the best and most life-saving option.
• Talk to your kids about distracted driving. Nowadays, teen drivers are most vulnerable to distracted driving, since they tend to heavily rely upon cell phones and other gizmos and gadgets to communicate with their peers. Talking to your children about the dangers of driving while distracted is important, and can help prevent unnecessary accidents. Also keep in mind that some phones may allow parents to disable to the texting feature while their teenager is driving. Be sure to contact your cell phone provider to find out whether this is an option for you.
Contact Our Miami Car Accidents Attorney Now!
The Miami Car Accident Attorneys of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully handle your distracted driving-related auto accident case. Our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys has been recognized by nationwide peer review organizations such as Martindale Hubbell (“AV” rated), has been deemed “Superlawyers,” and is an invited member of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. With more than 100 collective years of legal experience fighting for the rights of clients, our attorneys are among those voted as South Florida’s top-rated lawyers by the Miami Herald. Call (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 today for an evaluation of your case or visit our website for more information.