It’s a growing trend and there’s nothing in the state of Florida that’s stopping it — texting while driving. Officials say that it’s a national epidemic that’s causing more than 1.5 million car accidents each and every year.
In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that texting drivers are close to 25 times more likely to get into a car accident. Even with all of the dangers that are involved with this behavior, including accident risks, injury and even death, a large number of drivers and even more teenage drivers continue to engage in this behavior behind the wheel, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
“It’s becoming a major issue nation-wide in terms of accidents,” said Doug Goodmund, safe driving and anti-texting advocate.
Our Lauderdale Lakes car accident attorneys understand that the Sunshine State is one of the few states left in the country that hasn’t enacted any distracted driving laws. We still let drivers, of all ages do whatever they want behind the wheel. That’s why safe driving advocates across the state are working to raise awareness about the problem and to help to educate more drivers about the dangers. For the most part, these efforts are being aimed at our younger drivers. They’re not only the group who is most likely to engage in these distractions while driving, but they’re also most likely to get into an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 2,000 teenage drivers who were killed in car accidents in the U.S. in 2010. Some 115 of these drivers were killed in the state of Florida. The NHTSA also reports that distracted driving is the number 1 killer of teens in the U.S.
It’s not just the cell phones and the text messaging devices that are getting our young drivers in trouble. Distracted driving can also include operating a GPS, reading, talking to passengers, eating, drinking, grooming, watching videos and even messing with an MP3 or a CD player.
Officials tend to focus on texting while driving because they think that it might be the most dangerous. It distracts drivers in three ways, manual, visual and cognitive distractions. It has been ranked as the most dangerous driving habit of them all!
On average, a text message takes a driver’s attention off of the road for about 4 and a half seconds. When you’re driving at 55 miles per hour that means that you’re going to travel the entire length of a football field without ever laying eyes on the road.
There have been a number of Florida lawmakers that have been trying to push laws on distracted driving, such as texting and driving, but no laws are currently in place.
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