The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as "any activity that diverts attention from driving." Texting, the organization indicates, "is the most alarming distraction."
When you read or send a text, your eyes are off the road for five seconds: at 55 mph, that diversion is similar to "driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 victims are injured every day in distracted driving accidents. Texting and driving is an enormous problem in our country. Young adults and teen drivers are at a highest risk, with 42 percent of high school students admitting to texting and driving in 2015.
Why Is Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
There are three types of distractions that cause someone to not pay attention to his driving and cause a crash. Texting is so dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions, which include:
- Visual. These are distractions that take a person’s eyes off the road.
- Manual. This is an activity which requires a hand off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive. This includes any activities, such as talking on a cellphone or texting, which takes a person’s mind off the road, making it more likely that a driver will make a mistake.
Many things can happen during this time period when someone's eyes, hands, and mind aren't on his driving. He could veer across the center lane into oncoming traffic; fail to see the driver in front slam on his brakes; or not have time to stop if a traffic light turns red. These are just a few of the examples of how deadly accidents can occur if a motorist is texting.
Texting and Driving Is Illegal in Florida
It's against the law to text and drive in Florida. This includes manually typing characters with the fingers on a cellphone or other wireless device, and sending a message using fingers and thumbs. It's also illegal to read texts and other data on a device while driving. However, texting while driving is a secondary offense, which means that a police officer can only issue a ticket if he stops a motorist for another reason.
Were you or a loved one injured by a driver who was texting? Our experienced car accident attorneys are ready to fight with his insurance company to obtain the compensation you deserve. Fill out our convenient contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.