Much has been written in the past year or two about mobile devices and Florida truck accidents and car accidents. Unlike many states, Florida does not currently have a law banning cell phone use or texting while driving – and experts believe that the omission may contribute to Florida car accidents and truck accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting and driving increases the risk of a collision by 300%. In 2008, more than 515,000 passengers and drivers were injured and another 5870 were killed nationwide in accidents caused by texting and driving. Yet, despite awareness campaigns, according to some experts half of all drivers under the age of 24 text behind the wheel.
Some have argued that any form of distraction can lead to traffic accidents. While this is true, texting and use of mobile devices is especially odious because it is so prevalent and because it provides the three levels of distraction which experts say is the most deadly:
1) Visual distraction. Visual distraction occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road in order to dial a number, find a cell phone, or read a text message. In the case of drivers operating a large commercial truck, even removing eyes from the road for a few seconds allows the truck to travel the length of a few football fields – more than enough space and time to cause a serious Florida pedestrian accident or car accident.
2) Cognitive distraction. Cognitive distraction involves taking one’s mind off driving. Cognitive distraction is why many experts say that hands-free devices are simply not safe, either. When drivers become engaged in a phone conversation or in communications, they may not be thinking about driving and this can easily cause a collision.
3) Manual distraction. In order to text or dial a number, drivers must remove their hands from the wheel. For a truck driver, this can cause them to quickly lose control of the truck, which can swerve into traffic. Even hands-free devices can be a distraction in this sense if a driver drops the device and searches for it, taking their hands off the wheel.
Currently, there are laws in place to prevent drivers of commercial trucks from texting and driving. As well, many carriers prohibit their drivers from texting and driving. However, many drivers still continue to adopt this unsafe practice. Unfortunately, enforcing texting and driving bans is difficult. It is difficult for law enforcement to see whether a truck driver is holding a mobile device at the wheel. In many cases, texting and driving is only revealed in the investigation after an accident.
If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to speak with an experienced and qualified Florida truck accident attorney. Our legal team has helped thousands of injury victims in Miami, Homestead, Hollywood, and other Southern Florida communities rebuild their lives. There are laws which are designed to protect you – schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the Flaxman Law Group so that we can help you understand these laws and how they may protect you.