By Osborne & Francis
November 10, 2022

Types of Distracted Driving and Their Risks

Distracted driving car accidents plague Florida roads, with hundreds of road users sustaining serious injuries each year. In many cases, these injuries demand expensive medical treatment and time off from work. In addition to the financial impact, it is common for car accident injuries to have invisible costs, such as inconvenience and pain.

If you have been involved in a Florida car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages related to injuries sustained in the car crash.

The car accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis can provide the legal expertise you need to obtain maximum compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. You can reach us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online to schedule your free consultation.

Distracted Driving Statistics

While replying with a short text or adjusting the radio may seem like a low-risk behavior, even a momentary distraction can cause a serious Florida car accident. The CDC reports that every day in the U.S., 9 lives are claimed in distracted driving car accidents. In total, that amounts to over 3,000 fatalities and 424,000 injuries annually. Many of these casualties were vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians.

In 2021, Florida documented 333 distracted driving fatalities, a record high since 2013. Florida Department of Transportation officials credit a significant portion of distracted driving car accidents to cell phone usage, particularly texting while driving. This persistent problem has led legislatures across the country, including in Florida, to pass laws against using phones while driving. 

Many Floridians had high hopes that a 2019 law making texting while driving a primary offense would drastically reduce the behavior. However, state data reveals that limited enforcement has dampened the impact of the law. Studies conducted using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data confirm that Florida continues to have one of the highest rates of distracted driving car accidents in the country.

Cognitive Distractions Can Lead to Serious Car Accidents

Devoting your mental attention to the traffic around you is just as important as keeping your eyes on the road. Car accidents can happen in a split second, especially when a driver is busy trying to remember their grocery list, caught up in an argument with a passenger, or otherwise mentally distracted. 

Cognitive distractions like these prevent drivers from processing and reacting in time to avoid collisions. For example, a driver who is too focused on making sure they don’t miss their turn may instead miss the car in front of them slowing down for a red light. Due to their state of distraction, the following driver lacked the time and space to stop before causing a rear-end car accident.

Visual Distractions Impair Driver Focus

Driving is one of the most common forms of multitasking we engage in on a regular basis. There are numerous visual distractions competing for our attention, both inside and outside of the vehicle. For example, a sign advertising a garage sale, a child in the backseat, a large truck pulling out of a driveway, or even a cute dog may constitute a visual distraction. 

Visual distractions can often lead to a dangerous behavior known as rubbernecking. Rubbernecking is a term that typically references a driver who has become distracted by a roadside accident scene. However, rubbernecking can be applied to any driver who is visually distracted. As a result of dividing their attention, they may speed, swerve, or ignore other traffic laws, resulting in a serious Florida car accident.

Manual Distractions Prevent Swift Maneuvering 

The third type of distracted driving is known as manual distraction. Any task that physically takes your hands off the wheel or your feet off of the pedals qualifies as a manual distraction. For example, grabbing for a water bottle, reaching over to adjust the AC, or trying to slip a shoe on while driving are all forms of manual distraction.

Even if your eyes are firmly fixed on the road in front of you, taking your hands off the wheel compromises your ability to react quickly to changes in your environment. Let’s say a child’s ball rolls into the street, or a piece of debris falls off the back of the car in front of you. If you have occupied your hands apart from the steering wheel, you are operating at a disadvantage. There is an increased risk that you will be unable to steer safely around these unexpected obstacles.

How to Prove the At-Fault Party Was Distracted

Demonstrating that someone was distracted while driving can be challenging. It is also a task best left to your car accident lawyer. They will be able to collect evidence from a variety of sources to bolster the legitimacy of your claim.

For example, they may utilize images from red light cameras, eyewitness testimony, and phone records to show that the driver was distracted at the time of the car accident. Personal injury lawyers also rely on accident reconstructionists to create models of car accidents to demonstrate who was at fault.

Aided by the evidence they obtain, your car accident lawyer will make a case that you are owed compensation for your damages. First, they will work to establish that the distracted driver had a duty of care to remain attentive while operating their vehicle. Then, your car accident lawyer will attempt to show that their distraction constituted a breach of duty, which was responsible for the resulting accident. They will then use medical records and other evidence to connect your injuries to the accident and the damages you have incurred. 

Do I Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney for My Distracted Driving Case?

An experienced car accident attorney is a critical resource to have when pursuing maximum compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be looking at weeks or months of physical therapy, expensive medication, and pricey car repairs, just to start with. In some cases, car accident injuries leave drivers and their passengers with permanent deficits or conditions like chronic pain. 

Insurance companies are not keen to pay out a large settlement when they can avoid it. That’s why it is critical to obtain the services of a skilled car accident lawyer who will be able to accurately assess the value of your damages and fight relentlessly for a settlement that covers these costs. An insurance company is more likely to view your case as legitimate if a car accident attorney has committed to taking it on.

Why Should I Hire Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

Distracted driving car accident claims require a representative with an eye for detail and a strong work ethic. The car accident attorneys of Osborne & Francis are more than qualified to provide you with the legal expertise and attention you deserve. Additionally, we have the resources at our disposal to go up against powerful insurance companies that are highly motivated to protect their profits.

At Osborne & Francis, we have earned a reputation for handling complex Florida car accident claims with expertise. Our team has recovered millions of dollars worth of damages for Floridians who have been unfairly left with the fallout of someone else’s negligence. Our services are available to you without any upfront fees, so there is no need to struggle alone.

As car accident lawyers, we have made it our mission to provide high-quality legal insight to Floridians navigating the personal injury claims process.

We will work tirelessly to earn your trust as we negotiate for maximum compensation for your distracted driving car accident claim.

Contact Osborne & Francis if You Were Hit by a Distracted Driver

If you or a loved one is suffering financially due to the recklessness of a distracted driver, you should consider taking legal action. The car accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis are prepared to launch a full-scale effort to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

We know that insurance companies are not always willing to offer a reasonable settlement offer in pre-trial negotiations, but that will not deter us. Our team of exceptional car accident lawyers will pursue compensation for your damages in court, if necessary.

You can depend on the auto accident attorneys of Osborne & Francis to secure a settlement that reimburses your financial, mental, and physical costs. We encourage you to call us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online. Our team will schedule your free consultation so we can help you determine the best course of action for your car accident claim.

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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

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