April is designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month with good reason. It’s important to raise awareness on distracted driving as it’s a leading cause of accidents on our roads. Each day more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes, according to the National Safety Council.
So why not learn more about the dangers of driving distracted? Having a conversation with friends, family and peers on this topic might even save a life.
COMMON DISTRACTED DRIVING DISTRACTIONS
Texting while driving is one of the riskiest distractions there is as it captures the driver’s full cognitive attention; requiring visual and manual attention as well. As a result, 39 states and D.C. have banned texting while driving. As of 2020, Florida also joined those states making texting while driving a primary offense.
But unfortunately, there are other distractions that can also cause and contribute to distracted driving crashes.
Other common distractions, to name a few, can include:
- Drinking coffee
- Grooming and/or Applying makeup
- Talking with passengers
- Adjusting the radio or navigation system
CONSEQUENCES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
Distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019; a 10% increase over 2018.
In order to bring awareness this month, you can expect to see an increase in law enforcement on our roadways as part of the national paid media campaign called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This campaign aims to remind drivers of the dangers of texting while driving and the consequences that brings.
Section 316.305, Florida Statutes permits law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to those motorists texting while driving.
The legal consequences under this law involve a first texting offense punishable by a $30 fine and court fees; while a second offense carries a $60 fine, court costs and related fees. A second offense also puts three points against driver’s license.
RESPONSIBLE DRIVING AND BRINGING AWARENESS TO OTHERS
Taking responsibility for the choices we make while driving is important. Remind others of the same. If your friends and family are the designated driver, be sure to ask that they focus on the road. Additionally, follow these safety tips and take precaution:
- Assign a Designated Texter: Designate a fellow passenger to assist you should you need to access your phone texts while driving.
- Pull over: Pull over if you need to access your navigation system, send a text or tend to any other thing that would require your focus to shift your attention from the road.
- Put away your phone: Keep your phone out of reach, if you think you’ll otherwise be tempted to pick it up and respond to an incoming text.
- Take the Pledge: Take the NSC Pledge to not drive distracted and consider sharing it on your social media–#JustDrive.
When Legal Representation is Needed
If you or a loved one is injured by a distracted driver, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able to. Select a highly qualified law firm such as the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., who’s sole focus is on plaintiff personal injury. At the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A. consultations are always free and confidential. Call today and allow their expert legal team to help you get back on the road to recovery.