Today, distracted driving is more common than ever before and poses a significant risk to others on the roadway. These kinds of accidents can happen even if a driver takes their eyes off the road for a moment to glance at their phone or grab something from the center console. In fact, distracted driving has bloomed into such a widespread concern that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) labeled distracted driving as a “deadly epidemic.” In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Distracted driving is a form of driver negligence in Florida, so injured victims have the right to fair financial compensation for the damage caused by these dangerous accidents. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash as a result of a distracted driver, speak with an experienced Boca Raton distracted driving accident lawyer about your options as soon as possible.
Why Do Distracted Driving Accidents Occur in Florida?
Distracted driving is often associated with texting and driving—and rightly so—but distraction can be anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the complex task of driving. What causes an individual to be distracted while driving in the first place? We've broken down the causes of distracted driving so you can place your full attention on the road and avoid accidents.
- Eating and drinking
- Changing the radio station
- Reaching for objects inside the vehicle
- Personal grooming
- Watching videos and using GPS systems
- Putting on makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Using a cell phone
Although distracted driving certainly isn't a new problem, it’s one that’s evolved and increased in severity in the age of technological innovation. Cell phones are perhaps the most problematic form of driver distraction because using a cell phone demands the cognitive, visual, and manual attention of a driver.
Florida’s Distracted Driving Laws
In Florida, drivers have a legal duty to use reasonable care anytime they’re engaged in something that might foreseeably cause harm. This duty of care includes the responsibility to obey traffic laws, adjust speed according to road conditions, and be sober. It also necessitates being alert, which could mean not using your cell phone, keeping conversations with others in the car at a minimum, not eating or drinking in the car, avoiding adjusting the radio or temperature controls while the vehicle is in motion, and any other forms of distraction.
Although any number of interruptions or diversions have the potential to be a distraction, Florida's distracted driving law focuses specifically on cell phone use.
Florida Law Bans Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
Distracted driving has always been a primary contributor to car accidents, and as cell phones continue to become a growing part of our everyday lives, texting and driving has perhaps become the most common form of distracted driving. It's against the law for a driver to use their mobile phone while their vehicle is in motion in Florida.
This law makes it easier to impose liability on distracted drivers for the accidents they cause as their violation of the law may qualify as “negligence per se.” In other words, they’ll be presumed negligent.
Proving Fault in Your Distracted Driving Case
As the plaintiff, there are several ways in which you may be able to prove that the defendant was using their cell phone at the time of the accident. For instance, your lawyer may rely on eyewitness testimony or video evidence. They may also choose to investigate the at-fault driver's billing records to identify whether they made a call or sent a text at the time of the accident.
Florida has tricky no-fault car insurance laws that change how you may pursue compensation in your case. Still, if a distracted driver is at fault for your crash, you may be able to take legal action to hold them liable and recover compensation for the damages you suffered in the accident. A knowledgeable Boca Raton distracted driving accident lawyer will best be able to help you determine a legal strategy based on the circumstances of your case.
Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident and need help putting together a case against the at-fault party, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at Baker Legal Team. Robert B. Baker can provide expert guidance at every stage of the legal process and review your situation to determine the most strategic approach based on your circumstances. Robert is dedicated to fighting for your rights.
As a board-certified personal injury lawyer with experience handling complex claims and tricky insurance companies, Robert B. Baker has represented South Florida residents for more than 30 years. Robert and the rest of our trusted team have dealt with distracted driving accident claims and know the ins and outs of Florida law. We can help fight for the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (561) 320-0000 or complete our contact form today!