Personal Injury Lawyers,
Jacksonville, FL

Florida Highlights Distracted Driving Awareness Month to Promote Safe Driving

Close up of a businessman using mobile phone while driving a car.

In Florida, a crash occurs every 44 seconds, and one in seven crashes involves distracted driving. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In observance, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the Florida Highway Patrol, and campaign partners are reminding drivers to avoid distractions.

Distracted driving is a growing concern on Florida roads

Preliminary data shows that in 2023, nearly 300 people in Florida died due to distracted driving—23 more deaths than in 2022. At Pajcic & Pajcic, our Jacksonville car accident attorneys take distracted driving accidents seriously. We encourage Floridians to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and attention on driving. If you were hurt in a crash, you can seek legal help from our North Florida law firm.

How prevalent is distracted driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that causes the driver to divert their attention from the critical task of operating a vehicle safely. This includes texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, conversing with passengers, or adjusting the car's entertainment or navigation system.

These activities cause visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. According to the NHTSA, distractions behind the wheel caused over 3,300 traffic deaths across the United States.

The deaths recorded by the NTHSA are just ballpark figures. Distracted driving is often underreported because the associated behaviors (e.g., eating, grooming, and multitasking) don’t fall under a single statute. Instead, they may be categorized under various violations, including:

"While multitasking may seem normal in our daily lives, it is deadly when you are behind the wheel. Focus on driving safely and arriving safely. Everything else can wait," said FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner.

Types of crashes caused by distracted drivers

Distracted driving contributes to various types of crashes on the roads, often leading to devastating consequences for those involved. Some common types of crashes caused by distracted drivers include:

  • Rear-end collisions: When a driver fails to pay attention to the road ahead due to distractions like texting or talking on the phone, they may not notice when traffic slows down or stops, resulting in a rear-end collision.
  • Sideswipe accidents: Distracted drivers may drift out of their lane while distracted, leading to sideswipe collisions with vehicles traveling alongside them.
  • Intersection accidents: Distractions can cause people to fail to observe traffic signals or signs, resulting in accidents at intersections, including T-bone collisions or vehicles running red lights or stop signs.
  • Pedestrian or cyclist accidents: Distracted drivers may fail to notice pedestrians or cyclists sharing the road, leading to collisions with vulnerable road users.

These are just a few examples of the types of crashes that can occur when drivers are not fully focused on the task of driving. If you've been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, it's essential to seek help from an attorney who can protect your rights and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Proving fault in distracted driving accidents

Finding evidence of distracted driving can be challenging but critical for establishing liability in the aftermath of an accident. Types of evidence that can help support your claim include:

  • Cell phone records: Obtaining the distracted driver's cell phone records can reveal if they were texting or using their phone at the time of the accident.
  • Police reports: Official police reports documenting the accident and any citations issued to the distracted driver can serve as crucial evidence.
  • Expert testimony: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, can provide testimony to support your claim.
  • Surveillance footage: Surveillance footage from nearby cameras or dashcams, if available, can provide visual evidence of distracted driving behavior.
  • Commercial truck "black box" data: In truck accidents, accessing data from the truck's black box or electronic control module (ECM) can provide valuable insights into the vehicle's speed, braking, and other critical factors leading up to the accident. For example, if a trucker failed to brake before rear-ending another vehicle, that may indicate the truck driver was distracted and not paying attention to the road ahead.

Hit by a distracted driver in North Florida? Contact our law firm in Jacksonville today

The car accident attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic don’t take distracted driving lightly. We fight tirelessly for injured motorists and their families when someone else’s negligence causes a serious injury or death. Our case results speak for themselves, including a $4.3 million verdict to a victim who suffered severe, life-changing injuries in a crash with a distracted driver.

Discover what our law firm can do for you. If you or a loved one was hurt in a collision involving a distracted driver, contact us today for a free consultation.

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Pajcic & Pajcic
1 Independent Dr Suite 1900
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Local: 904-358-8881

Fax: 904-354-1180