Florida is one of the only states left in the country that has yet to enact any kind of distracted driving laws. Here, drivers are allowed to chat away on their cell phones and text their life away behind the wheel. But that might not be so bad considering how many drivers are still engaging in these dangerous habits even in states that prohibit them.
As a matter of fact, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that a good majority of American drivers are still taking their eyes off of our roadways and engaging in distractions despite the thousands of deaths we see every year and the countless warnings and campaigns we air to try to put an end to this behavior.
Now, with the presence of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, safe driving advocates are giving it another go. They’re releasing new information to help to illustrate just how serious of a problem this is. They’re releasing much of this information in the “SAF3TY 1N NUM3ERS” online monthly auto safety newsletter.
Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand that there were close to 3,500 people killed in distracted driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2010. These were all completely avoidable accidents. In addition to the fatalities, there were another 420,000 people injured in these accidents. According to research, drivers understand the dangers that are associated with this dangerous behavior, but they’re just not willing to hang up the phone.
Apparently, drivers think that they’re invincible behind the wheel. Drivers think that they’re able to engage in both of these activities and they’re be able to drive just fine. Unfortunately, you’re four times more likely to get into an accident while using a cell phone and close to 25 times more likely while text messaging in the driver’s seat.
“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
No driver can text and operate a motor vehicle safely. Our brains weren’t created to multitask. All we do is switch back and forth from each task — never able to fully concentrate on more than one at once. When we’ve got a phone in our hand, our attention on driving suffers and our risks for accidents increase significantly.
According to recent surveys, a large majority of drivers say that they support legislation to keep drivers off of their phones. They say that the fines for these actions should be at least $200. But with, and even without, these laws in effect, drivers are still blabbing away on their phones behind the wheel.
So while we may not have these laws in the state of Florida, we’re asking drivers to respect roadway safety and the safety of others and hang up the phone. There should never be a phone call or a text message that is worth risking your life — of the life of another innocent traveler. Be safe, be responsible, and keep your full attention on the road.