We all know that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. In the time that it takes the average person to read a text message or dial a phone number, a vehicle traveling at highway speeds can more than cover the distance of an entire football field.
With researchers estimating that roughly 660,000 drivers are using their phones while behind the wheel at any given moment in time during the day, this means that distracted drivers are covering thousands upon thousands of miles without paying attention to the road.
Unfortunately, as these statistics show, distracted driving remains a major problem in Florida and throughout the country. While texting behind the wheel is illegal in Florida, the legislature has not yet enacted a state-wide ban on handheld cell phone use while driving. This is true even though research has shown that distracted driving may be just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel.
The Dangerous of Being Distracted Behind the Wheel
As we have previously discussed, distracted driving is a form of negligence that can entitle accident victims to seek compensation for their losses. The same goes for drunk driving. However, while many people think of drunk driving as being the bigger problem, research has shown that this may not actually be the case.
In fact, the first major study on the issue is now nearly a decade old. In 2006, researchers at the University of Utah conducted a study that led them to conclude that, “cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers.” In particular, the researchers found that distracted drivers drove faster, braked later, and took longer to recover after a sudden incident. This, in turn, led to an increased risk for causing rear-end collisions when compared to drunk drivers.
Other studies have returned similar results.
For example, a follow-up study a few years later found that, when it came to stopping distance, distracted drivers presented much greater risks than drivers at the legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit:
- Additional stopping distance when compared to sober, attentive drivers: Four feet for drunk drivers at 0.08 BAC.
- Additional stopping distance when compared to sober, attentive drivers: 36 feet for drivers reading emails.
- Additional stopping distance when compared to sober, attentive drivers: 70 feet for drivers sending text messages.
Your Rights as the Victim of a Distracted Driver
So, as the victim of a distracted driving accident, what does this mean for you?
If the person who hit you was texting, talking on the phone, sending an email, taking a selfie or posting on social media, these could all be grounds for you to file a claim for financial compensation. There are ways to prove that someone was using his or her phone at the time of an accident (such as obtaining copies of their phone records), and with the help of an attorney, you can use this information to secure the money you need to cover your medical expenses and other losses. If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a distracted driver in Crestview, we invite you to contact us to learn more.
Contact Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. About Your Crestview Auto Accident
Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. is a personal injury law firm that represents auto accident victims in Crestview, FL. We are committed to helping our clients secure maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. If you would like to speak with a Crestview auto accident attorney about your accident, please call (850) 682-2757 or contact us online today.