The evidence continues to mount against a new opponent to our public health and safety. Just as the implementation of seatbelts and airbags in the 1970s fought against rising car fatalities, so too must we acknowledge and problem-solve this current threat to our roads: distracted driving.
Drivers are becoming more distracted and negligent than ever by using their cell phones. They use these devices not only to talk or text, but also to check their social media accounts and send emails. To make matters worse, modern research shows that even activities most people consider safe (like talking on a hands-free device) drastically increase the likelihood of an accident. This news is particularly relevant to Florida, a state known for travel and tourism. Florida consistently ranks as one of the worst states in the country in terms of distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving accounts for more than 50,000 accidents and over 200 deaths each year. The National Safety Council reported that cell phone use while driving represents 25% of all car accidents or approximately 1.6 million crashes each year.
Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving and, in 2018, 2,841 people died in distraction-related crashes. 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving and 74% support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
Teen Distracted Driving Statistics
21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. In 2018, motor vehicle fatality was the leading cause of death among teenagers; it accounted for 33% of all deaths. If a teen driver has a passenger in their car, the risk of a fatal car accident doubles, and it continues to increase with the number of passengers.
Florida Distracted Driving Statistics
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2016, more than 50,000 accidents and 233 deaths were caused by distracted drivers in Florida. A 2017 survey placed Florida as the second worst state in the nation in terms of distracted driving; Louisiana ranked as the worst.
While research on these topics is ongoing, distracted driving represents a serious threat to our safety. Despite Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing a bill this year to make texting and driving a primary traffic offense, it’s still common to see drivers distracted by all sorts of things (including cell phones). However, the upside is that drivers are becoming more educated on the issue of distracted driving and the threat it poses. While you cannot control how others drive, you can control how you drive.
- mind your surroundings;
- drive defensively; and
- avoid distractions while on the road.
In this way, we can all join the fight against distracted driving!
When a serious car accident occurs, it is best to contact Bauer Law Group, P.A., and one of our attorneys will discuss your personal injury legal needs with you.
Call our firm today at (352) 310-8169 or reach out online for a case evaluation.