Distracted Driving Accidents in Lake Worth
Driving in one’s car is a situation that most of us don’t really consider to be a special event. That’s because we have been conditioned to think of driving as the same as walking to the corner grocery store or walking to a neighbor’s house. But the reality is quite different. When driving, you are getting into a large machine that is propelled by highly flammable liquid fumes and can create massive destruction at any given moment. See the difference? Since this machine is more or less completely at your command, it’s a good idea to pay strict attention to what you’re telling it to do. Right? However, texting and driving injury lawyers can tell you that there are many individuals who believe that they can effectively perform other tasks when driving a motor vehicle.
When discussing “distracted driving” we are referring to anything that will draw one’s attention from their driving and concentration on the road ahead of them. These situations can include:
- Watching a video on an electronic device
- Using a directional navigation system
- Document reading
- Posting on social media
- Reviewing email
- Making adjustments to a music playing device
- Drinking beverages or eating food
- Grooming – such as hair combing or applying makeup
But one of the most common (and dangerous) tasks that drivers engage in involve texting while driving.How Dangerous is Texting and Driving at the Same Time?
Since we live in the era of “communication”, you will find many people that are literally “connected” to their portable phones. This has become so common place that there is now a need to feel as if one is connected throughout the entire day. This feeling has elevated the role of the cell phone in our society. In many cases, operating a cell phone has overcome the understanding of the need to pay attention when driving. And it’s obvious that if you’re using your eyes to look at a cell phone, then you’re not using them to watch the road.
Here are some of the facts that people rarely consider when they’re not even using their cell phone:
Even if your driving has your complete attention, if you’re travelling at 60 miles per hour, it can take you over four and a half seconds in order to stop. During that stopping time, your car will have travelled about 270 feet. Now add to this, the additional time that is attached to texting prior to hitting the brake. Do you think you could stop exactly when you need to?
When considering Lake Worth and the rest of the state, there were over 45,000 driving accidents in 2016, which were caused by distracted driving circumstances. These accidents presented many unfortunate cases that texting and driving injury lawyers had to face. Here, we’re looking at a fatality rate of about one person for each day of that year! But there are those who still argue the case for voice-texting phone applications without having read the research.
To address this fallacy, additional research was performed by a researcher named Christine Yager at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. These were her findings:
A driver’s response time was negatively affected no matter which type of texting and driving approach was utilized.
A voice-to-text application will fool the driver into thinking that they are being safer when driving. However, the texting driver’s brain is more engaged with voice-to-text, to the point where their distraction mimics that of a manual text operator.
The end result is pretty much the same. Either way of texting removes a driver’s focus from the road to the point where it took a driver about 2X as long to react than a driver who was not engaged in texting while driving.
One of the more bizarre points of the research noted that drivers who texted manually when driving felt far less safe than when using voice texting, yet the focus results were just about the same!
Recently, a new cell phone use while driving law went into effect. Some of the reasons for this had to do with the fact that Florida was designated as the 2nd most “distracted when driving” state (Louisiana was #1)! This was in 2017 and determined from the results recorded by the EverDrive motion-sensing app.
The EverDrive application’s function is to detect and record; hard turning, aggressive acceleration and braking along with speeding and other driver actions while texting and driving. The application then turns off when the phones are in sleep mode.What are Florida’s Laws on Texting and Driving?
Due to the work of those who have pushed for more strict laws concerning cell phone use when driving, a new bill was introduced and approved by Governor Ron DeSantis on 5/17/2019. This was known as 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 addition, there are exceptions to the ban presented by the new law. This includes an allowance for those who are using cell phones in which messages are related to emergency situations. An example of this can include hurricane warnings and conditions.
There initially was a ban on texting while driving in Lake Worth and the rest of the State. But it was designed so that the police were not allowed to pull a driver over just for texting and driving (a primary offense). Some other driving offense was needed in order to do that. Because of this, 2018 had less than 1,700 tickets issues for driving while texting.What Should I do When My Vehicle is Hit by a Distracted Driver?
Confusion and instant stress abound anytime one is involved in a car crash. In a case in which you have not been seriously hurt, there are some steps that you may want to take. First of all, gather your wits as much as possible and begin checking to see if anyone is injured. Then, you’ll want to immediately contact 911 for police and emergency medical services . Also, make sure the vehicles aren’t blocking the roadway. This might cause another accident.
Also, you will want to have a police report generated, even if you don’t see any damage to your vehicle. You’ll also want to take the opportunity to exchange driver information and provide that information to the police officer who is investigating the accident.
Any other information can be found in the police officer’s report at a later time. For example; the other motorist’s name, insurance info, their contact info, make and model of their vehicle, their driver’s license number and license plate number.
Other steps and options:
Get contact information regarding any witnesses to the accident.
Be sure to take a good number of photos that will depict the accident scene, any damage to your vehicle and any injuries to your person. Get photos of anything that you feel may be important later. Just remember to not get in the police officer’s way.
A really important step is to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident. Since some injuries take a while to manifest, you may also want to make an additional follow up appointment, as well. A lot of this has to do with seemingly minor injuries that can evolve into much more serious ones later. You will need documentation for insurance and other legal purposes. You will also want to get any copies of bill receipts and doctor’s findings.
Contact your insurance company as immediately as you can. It is also a good idea to set up a file that contains your complete information regarding the accident. Here is where you will file any accident-related documents and personal observations that you may notice. Also, save copies of any expenses which are accident-related, as well.
Contact a personal injury attorney for guidance. Our experienced injury lawyers will provide you with a free consultation.
Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Florida for a distracted driving accident is four years from the date of the incident. However, in the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, a close relative or estate has just two years to file.Enlist an Experienced Injury Lawyer Serving Lake Worth to Protect Your Rights
Careless driving decisions can result in catastrophic accidents which can cause serious injuries and even death. In addition, it’s important to understand that while high vehicle speeds are often a factor, there are also many times when this isn’t the situation. There have been a number of cases in which a very low speed car crash has resulted in an injury that eventually led to a person’s death. The injuries involved may include brain damage and various internal organ injuries. Therefore, even if you are involved in a “minor” car crash that has occurred, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a distracted driving accident personal injury attorney.
Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Lake Worth distracted driving accident, contact a Florida personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with a Distracted Driving Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Lake Worth Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.