April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Month throughout the United States. The National Safety Council (NSC) provides resources and materials for raising awareness of distracted driving. Parents and educators can use the information to help teens understand the dangers of distracted driving. However, teens are not the only drivers who are guilty of driving while distracted. Millions of adult drivers cause accidents each year because they are distracted.
Distracted driving has become the most common reason for traffic accidents in the United States. According to AAA, 70 percent of drivers admit to talking on a cell phone while driving while 42 percent admit to reading a text or email while driving. Nearly 32 percent of drivers admitted to typing or sending a text while behind the wheel. Of the drivers polled, 80 percent believe that distracted driving is a much bigger problem than it was just three years ago. Sadly, as technology increases, the risk of distracted driving accidents also increases.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Most sources agree that distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus away from the task of driving. One of the worse forms of distracted driving is texting while driving because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive abilities. In addition to texting while driving, other examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting vehicle controls (i.e. radio, air conditioner, seat position, etc.)
- Interacting with passengers
- Caring for young children
- Using social media
- Watching videos
- Paying attention to things outside of the vehicle
Unfortunately, many people believe they can operate a vehicle safely while they are doing other things. However, driving is not something we should “multi-task.” We must remain alert and avoid all distraction while driving we are not at fault for a car accident.
HOW SERIOUS IS DISTRACTED DRIVING IN FLORIDA?
Are Florida drivers guilty of distracted driving? The numbers provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles would indicate our drivers are indeed guilty of distracted driving. In 2015, 45,740 distracted driving accidents were reported in Florida. As a result, 214 people died, and distracted drivers injured 39,396 people.
FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR A DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT
Distracted driving accidents can result in traumatic injuries. In addition to the emotional and physical pain, accident victims sustain great financial damages from these accidents. To receive compensation for your damages, you must file an insurance claim against the other driver who hit you. Common damages included in an insurance claim are:
- Compensation for bodily injury, including physical pain and emotional suffering
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket financial losses such as property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses
- Compensation for permanent disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Reimbursement for burial costs, funeral expenses, and cremation costs, in the event of a wrongful death
- Compensation for future medical care and personal care
Because Florida is a no fault insurance state, you file an insurance claim under your no fault insurance coverage. However, this does not mean that you are not entitled to seek damages from the driver who caused the accident. It is always in your best interest to consult with a Lake City car accident attorney to learn about your rights, especially when you are dealing with an insurance company after an accident.
DO YOU NEED A LAKE CITY ATTORNEY?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, truck accident, or car accident, our Lake City injury lawyers can help. You do not need to face the insurance company alone.
Call the Koberlein Law Offices at 386-269-9802 (Lake City office) or 352-519-4357 (Gainesville office) to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You may also contact our office by using the contact form on our website to request your free consultation or ask a question about car accident claims.