What’s Distracting Drivers in Florida?

It’s hard to imagine life before cell phones and text messaging.  In a society that always seems to be hard pressed for time, it is no wonder that drivers are becoming distracted.

How many times do you talk on your cell phone while driving or do the unimaginable – text message and drive?  If you have been distracted by today’s modern technology while behind the wheel, you are not alone.  A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that drivers are distracted at an alarming rate and that these distractions are to blame for many crashes and near accidents.

The NHTSA, along with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, found that 80 percent of car accidents and 65 percent of near-crashes that were studied occurred within three seconds of a distraction.  Three seconds can go by quickly when you look down at your cell phone to see who is calling or reach for something that fell in the car.

During the study, researchers used video cameras and sensors to monitor the behaviors of drivers.  It was discovered that driver inattention was a major factor in the auto accidents that occurred during the study period and that young drivers were more likely to be involved in these crashes.

According to the study’s findings, reaching for an object inside the vehicle was the most perilous activity.  Researchers found that this distraction increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by nine times.

There were some other distractions notated in the study that increased the probability of an accident by three times.  These driver distractions included applying makeup, dialing a handheld device and reading.  Driver drowsiness was also a significant danger that was identified by the researchers.  The study showed that drowsiness contributed to more than 22 percent of the collisions and near-collisions recorded by researchers.

Some have suggested that distracted drivers are almost as dangerous as drunk drivers.  Whether that is true or not, driver inattention can be serious.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a Daytona Beach auto accident, you may be able to recover compensation.  For more information, contact an Ormond Beach accident lawyer at the law firm of Johnson & Gilbert, PA at (386) 673-4412 or (800) 556-8890.