Our South Florida Car Accident lawyers reported in an earlier post to our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney blog, that Florida remains one of just seven states with no laws restricting use of hand-held or other electronic devices despite an explosion in the number of distracted driving car accidents nationwide.
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked cell-phone use to 18 percent of distracted driving fatalities and 5 percent of distracted driving injuries nationwide. But, of course, texting or chatting aren’t the only ways drivers can be distracted.
USA Today reports that a host of distractions were found to contribute to more than 16 percent of all motor vehicles accidents that claimed 5,474 lives and injured more than 448,000 in 2009.
Eating while driving is a popular distraction common to drivers, so is applying makeup, searching for a favorite CD or new radio station, engaging with passengers, disciplining children, lighting a smoke and reading. And then there those folks who travel with furry companions who, more often than not, roam the vehicle unrestrained.
Some experts even claim that our quality highway system has created a “complacency among many drivers” that builds a false sense of security and lures drivers to take their eyes off the road. But even a two-second distraction can have deadly consequences. A car moving at 60 and 70 m.p.h. can travel up to a couple hundred feet in a matter of two seconds, more than enough time and distance to cause an accident.
In a recent interview, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood referred to distracted driving as an “epidemic” in America. One that is claiming more lives as overall traffic fatalities have fallen to their lowest number since 1950. To top it off, our most vulnerable drivers – those aged 20 and younger – represent the largest group killed in distracted driving fatal car accidents.
The Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.