The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011 alone 3331 Americans were killed in accidents and another 387, 000 sustained injuries due to driver distraction. Driver distraction causes many serious accidents leading to spinal cord injuries, fractures, amputations, fatalities, and head injuries in Deerfield Beach and other communities each year. What is most frustrating for victims is that in many cases these accidents and injuries are preventable.
There is more awareness than ever before about the dangers of distracted driving. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, for example, and many agencies and organizations are joining forces to inform drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. The message is clear: driving while distracted causes preventable car accidents in in Deerfield Beach and other communities. Everyone has a role to play in preventing these types of accidents:
Florida is still one of the few states not to ban texting and driving. While all commercial drivers and federal employees using company cars cannot text and drive and while some companies are passing texting bans for drivers using company vehicles, in Florida it is still legal to drive while keeping your eyes on a mobile device. The state has had problems passing a ban, despite much evidence that distraction causes many car and truck accidents in Deerfield Beach and across Florida each year.
Some legislators are concerned that a texting ban would place too many restrictions on drivers, while many point out that a texting ban would not prevent drivers from being distracted by cell phones, passengers, and the myriad other distractions available to motorists. Some lawmakers have expressed doubts about whether a texting ban or even a ban on hand-held devices for drivers would reduce the number of traffic accidents in Deerfield Beach and other communities. Despite this, efforts are still being made to pass new laws to curb distracted driving.
2) Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officials and the justice system have a role to play, too. Law enforcement officials cannot ticket a driver for texting or talking on a phone in Florida, but they can pull over drivers who are driving erratically or recklessly before those motorists cause a traffic accident or pedestrian accident. Many law enforcement agencies have also launched awareness campaigns to alert drivers to the dangers of any distractions – whether those distractions come in the form of a mobile device, food, passengers, daydreaming, or anything else.
Drivers, of course, have one of the biggest responsibilities when it comes to putting a halt to preventable car crashes. Motorists need to be aware of the risks of distracted driving and need to make sure that every time they step into a car they put their mobile devices (and any other distractions) away. When every driver makes a conscious decision to drive more safely, everyone benefits from safer roads.
Drivers who have been injured by a distracted driver can speak with a personal injury attorney in Deerfield Beach or their community about making a legal claim. When motorists are held accountable for their recklessness, they may important changes to their driving habits.
4) The General Public
The general public – even those who don’t drive – do have a voice. The general public can write to lawmakers about distracted driving laws and can support advocacy groups raising awareness about dangerous driving.