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You Can Avoid Causing Florida Distracted Driving Accidents

You Can Avoid Causing Florida Distracted Driving Accidents

This Shaked Law Firm Blog article presents everything safe drivers need to know for the best distracted driving prevention practices.

In Florida, driving distractions are everywhere. For most, driving in this manner is becoming “normal” when it’s actually dangerous, reckless, and can cause auto accidents. In busy cities like Miami, it’s more important than ever to keep our eyes on the road and off the phone while driving. Distracted driving is something that as Miami-Dade drivers, we see too often. We do not have to be part of the problem! In the event of an emergency, pulling over safely to the side of the road is our best option.

Our Miami car crash lawyers have years of experience representing clients with injuries as a result of a distracted driver. This article is your guide to distracted driving prevention. Preventing auto accidents resulting from distracted driving is easier than it appears: all you have to do is drive! However, there are some nuances that are important to understand. As a result, we’ll cover types of distracted driving and consequences that occur when drivers choose to act recklessly.

Texting in the car
Distracted driving is a form of acting in a manner that can be reckless.

Is distracted driving also a form of reckless driving?

The short answer, is yes. Distracted driving is a form of acting in a manner that can be reckless. We know from our clients experiences distractions while behind the wheel cause harm. However, what we may consider everyday tasks that cause no harm at home or in the office can become fatal while driving. This is when distractions become reckless driving. Recklessness results when a driver knows actions are harmful, but continues to pursue those actions regardless of possibly harmful outcomes.

Turning around to ask the kids to be quiet, thereby running a red light. Being in the habit of texting, thus missing a turn and causing an accident, is reckless. These are just two examples of things we do in our daily lives that, when we become reckless and do those same things in a car, cause serious auto accidents.

Three types of driving distractions

It’s a little known fact that there are three different types of distracted driving. Manual, Visual, and Cognitive. Texting combines all three of these distractions. Answering a text can pull focus from the road with our eyes, our hands, and our brain function. When we look down at a text message, we’re taking our hands off the wheel, our eyes off the road, and our focus off everything except the phone. Below, we’ll explain what each function does and why each is equally important.

Distracted driver. Side view window view beautiful young woman applying makeup while driving car, isolated city traffic background.
Manual actions remove our hands from the wheel.
  • Manual. This can be any physical task that requires our hands. Taking hands off the wheel to reach for the phone is a manual function occurring in place of driving. Playing with the music is another example of a manual distraction. Manual actions remove our hands from the wheel. Putting on makeup is another example of something not to do while driving.
  • Visual. When we take our eyes off the road and look at something else, we’re not visually present. Our eyes can only be in one place at a time, and while driving this remains on the road. Taking our attention from the road is reckless behavior. Not paying attention to what’s coming leads to a high percentage of Miami car crashes. The leading cause of not paying attention? Texting while driving.
  • Cognitive. Cognitive function involves the brain and tasks requiring critical thinking skills. Distractions can happen even when our eyes are on the road and hands are on the wheel. If we’re talking via Bluetooth, focusing on details of the call and not what’s around us, car wrecks can occur. What’s worse, cognitive function plays a role in manual and visual actions, too. When our eyes are on the phone screen, hands hold the phone, we’re also focusing on these tasks instead of on the road.

It’s best to avoid distractions by making safe driving the sole manual, visual, and cognitive functions on the road.

What are the consequences of distracted driving?

The consequences of distracted driving are far reaching. Not only is reckless driving an example of breaking the law, when wrongful death results, criminal charges may follow. Aside from legal consequences a driver faces for answering a text or turning around to quiet down the kids, there are physical consequences for reckless driving.

The consequences of reckless or distracted driving can be physically severe. On the medical side, Traumatic Brain Injury, whiplash, back, spine, and other injuries result from incidents of reckless driving. Not only is there potential for a car accident, there’s also potential for serious legal consequences.

What is a driving distraction?

Personal Injury lawyers see car accident victims daily. Some of the causes of car accidents that lawyers see on a daily basis are due to the reckless or distracted driving of another.

Below are common causes of distracted driving resulting in physical injuries:
  • Eating. Trying not to spill can have deadly consequences. It’s reckless to attempt eating while driving a car. Eating is easily the #1 reason for distracted driving.
  • Putting on makeup. This should be done when the car is in park, or before leaving the house.
  • Texting while driving
  • Holding the phone while driving. There are multiple options for avoiding this common cause of accident. Using the car’s bluetooth, or a phone mount are two of them.
  • Playing with the radio, iPod, or CDs
  • Using the GPS while the car is moving. Upon realizing you’re lost, the best bet is to pull over and reset the Maps app safely.

There is only one thing to do while driving: drive!

If it can “possibly” be reckless, don’t do it. Simply putting the phone down and waiting to answer a text can save a life. It’s even more important to remember that so many of us have children in the car, and protecting their lives is our #1 priority.

Despite how normal it may be for us to parent our children or answer a quick text, we should never do these things in a moving car. It’s reckless and can result in injuries or worse, fatalities. Safety should be the sole focus of the person behind the wheel.

For additional information on safe driving practices, please visit Safe Roads Alliance!

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