Distracted Driving Accidents in Delray Beach
The majority of those who drive don’t really think of driving their vehicle as a hazardous task. That’s because driving has become so commonplace to the point where we just take it for granted. Unfortunately, the hard truth is far more important for drivers to take into consideration. Driving a car is far more dangerous than merely taking a walk to the corner grocery store. When a person gets behind the wheel of their car they are, in essence, preparing to travel in a large, heavy machine that is being fueled by a highly flammable petroleum product. They will then be traveling at a relatively high speed (compared to walking or running) and an impact with another object or person can result in deadly consequences. Of course, one’s absolute attention is needed for this situation. However, as any texting and driving injury lawyer can tell you, many people in Delray Beach attempt to multitask when they’re driving.
“Distracted driving” has become a major problem throughout the United States. The term encompasses just about anything that can take away one’s attention from the task of driving and observing their vehicle’s surroundings. These types of situations can include:
- Taking care of personal grooming such as applying makeup
- Eating and drinking
- Changing the settings on a music player
- Looking over email
- Social media posting
- Reading documents
- Checking a personal navigation device
- Watching a video on an electronic player
But out of the many ways a driver can be distracted, one of the most prevalent (and hazardous) distractions can come from attempting to text and drive at the same time.Just How Dangerous is Texting and Driving at the Same Time?
It’s well known that we live in the age of communication through electronic devices. Modern technology has advanced tremendously with the invention of microchips that make it all possible – from personal computers to thin cell phones with multiple cameras. As such, today’s society has developed a “need” to feel as if it is constantly “connected” and part of that connection can be through cell phone communication. In many cases, the need to communicate through a cell phone can overcome the need to understand the importance of paying complete attention to the road when driving.
To illustrate the importance of being attentive while driving, here are some facts that you wish to consider.
Even in situations in which you are paying strict attention to your driving, it may take you in excess of 4.5 seconds in order to come to a complete stop. In addition, while you are coming to a complete stop, you would have travelled approximately 270 feet. Now, if you were in the middle of sending a text, how much time and distance do you think this would add to those numbers? This is why an experienced personal injury attorney encounters so many of these accident situations.
As a matter of fact, Delray Beach, along with the rest of the state, had over 45,000 distracted driving accidents recorded in 2016. Many of these accidents led to tragic conclusions in the form of severe injuries and fatalities. Sadly enough, this amounted to approximately one fatality for every day of that year! Of course, you have those who are proponents of applications that allow texting and driving through voice-recognition technology. But there is research that weighs in heavily against it.
In an example of this research can be seen where additional research was performed by a researcher named Christine Yager, located at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Her findings concluded:
- Whether manual or voice-activated texting and driving was utilized, driver response time was affected in a negative manner.
- The man thing that a voice-to-text application will accomplish is fooling the driver into thinking that they are safer by using this technology. The truth is that voice-to-text applications end up engaging more of the driver’s brain functions, since they adapt to a faster rate of communication. This can easily equate to the distraction level experienced by someone who is sending texts manually.
- As you can imagine the end result is pretty much the same. In the study, both ways of texting took the driver approximately twice the time to react than the driver who wasn’t texting at all.
A new cell phone use when driving law has recently gone into effect. Part of the reason for this law had to do with Florida being ranked second in the nation (just behind Louisiana) when it comes to texting while driving. In 2017, this was recorded by the EverDrive motion-sensing app. The function of this app was to record aggressive driving moves, etc. when the driver was texting and then turning off when the cell phones were in sleep mode.What are the Florida Statutes for Texting and Driving?
A new bill was introduced (and approved) by Governor Ron DeSantis on 5/17/2019. This was called the CS/HB 107: Wireless Communications While Driving bill.
The new law took effect on July 1st, 2019 and is covered by Florida statute 316.305. This statute states:
A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.
As used in this section, the term “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that allows text communications. For the purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.
In any situations that involve new laws, there will always be those who disagree with its implementation. Here, we find that some folks don’t think that the new law is strict enough. That may be because the 1st offense only carries a $30 fine (plus court fees). The second offense doubles the fine to $60 and the third can translate into points on the offender’s driving record. However, points can also be given for a first offense if the texting and driving happened in a school/work zone.
There is also the question of the driver texting while driving or use of a navigation device was being done. In addition, there was a concern regarding police officers searching the cell phone. In this case, the issue was resolved by having the officer informing the driver that they have the right to decline a cell phone search.What steps should I take when I have been involved in a distracted driver accident?
Confusion and stress can abound when someone has become involved in a car accident. Let’s consider a situation in which you are injured and need to be taken to the hospital right away. Here are some suggestions that you should consider when it comes to being involved in a texting and driving accident. After the accident has occurred, look around and see if anyone has been seriously injured. You will want to attend to them first and ensure that they are transported to a medical facility. Also, you should get in contact with the police in order to let them know what happened and the location of the accident. Also, make sure that the roadway isn’t being blocked, which could cause further accidents.
A police report should also be generated, so you will want to completely cooperate with the officers and provide them as much information as possible without assigning blame for the accident. Also, you should exchange driver information which includes; insurance info, contact information, model and make of the vehicle, license plate number and the drivers license number.
There are other steps that you can consider which can include:
- Talk to any other people who may have witnessed the accident and get their contact information
- Take as many photos of the accident scene as you possibly can. This includes any damage to you vehicle and any obvious injuries. Just remember not to get in the way of the investigating officers.
- Get a medical evaluation as soon as possible, after the accident. This is very important since there are some injuries that may take some time to manifest, such as whiplash. You should also make a follow up appointment in order to document the healing process or to check to see if any further injuries have made themselves known. This can be especially true in cases where a tiny fracture was originally overlooked by the doctor. Make sure to get all of the documentation and copies of any medical bills that have arisen as a result of the accident. Make sure that you place all information regarding the accident in one file, so that nothing will be lost. You may also want to create a journal that documents you healing process and other personal observations regarding the accident.
- Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Make sure that you don’t speak with the other party’s attorney or any insurance adjusters before you have had the chance to speak with your own texting and driving injury lawyer
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer, serving Delray Beach at your earliest convenience. The initial consultation will be free and you may receive a lot of valuable information regarding your options.
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a distracted driving accident is 4 years. However, in the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, a close relative or estate has just 2 years to file. This is the primary reason why you want to speak with a texting and driving personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.Enlist an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Deaths and injuries from careless driving decisions can be the result of catastrophic distracted driving accidents, which may occur in Delray Beach at any given time. Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident that was the result of a distracted driver, it is advised that you seek medical care and consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney.
Seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney, serving Delray Beach, who can try to assist you in receiving the best care and compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Delray Beach distracted driving accident, contact a Florida personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with a Distracted Driving Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Delray Beach Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.