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Distracted Drivers

In 2008, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released a report which contained its findings regarding distracted drivers.The FDHSMV established that driver distraction occurs when the driver’s focus is on something other than the primary task of driving. To no surprise, driver distraction increases the risk of driver error and crash involvement.

Many Tampa car accident attorneys are being faced with more distracted driver cases. Distracted driving cases can be associated with technology and the increase in cell phone use and cell phone functions. Almost every cell phone is now equipped with text messaging and e-mail technology and provides another source for drivers to become distracted.

The FDHSMV report analyzed a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for long-haul trucks. These trucks were outfitted with video cameras to observe the drivers for a period of 18 months. The findings established that when truck drivers texted while driving, their risk of being involved in an accident was 23x higher than when they were not texting while driving.

The study also evaluated how long, on average, drivers take their eyes off the road to send or receive a text message. The study evaluated what drivers were doing in the moments leading up to their crash as well as the moments leading up to a near crash. It found that most drivers spend an average of five seconds looking down at their phone. Five seconds with eyes off the road, traveling at highway speed, would be like driving the entire length of a football field blind.

These findings are frightening and should illustrate the dangers that distracted drivers pose.Such distracted driving is considered a negligent act in Florida and anyone who has suffered injuries due to the fault of a distracted driver should contact a Tampa personal injury attorney to address their rights.