April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. How distracted are you?
Distraction is a broad term that encompasses anything that is not directly related to the task of driving. The three primary types of distracted driving are:
- Visual. This includes reading, looking at signs, rubbernecking, and turning to look at a passenger
- Manual. This includes eating and drinking, using a handheld device to type, changing the radio station, and personal grooming
- Cognitive. This includes planning your day, daydreaming, getting “lost in thought,” and anything else that takes your mind off of driving
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 48,000 distracted driving crashes in our state in 2021. These accidents resulted in 2,700 serious injuries and 300 deaths.
There are nearly three times as many motor vehicle accidents involving distraction as those involving intoxication in Florida. Worse still, many experts believe the role distraction plays in auto accidents is largely overlooked, with some suggesting that it plays a role in almost all accidents.
Do Not Rely on Talk to Text
Many people turn to voice-activated electronics, such as talk-to-text, to reduce distraction. The problem is that these devices don’t reduce distraction. They can actually make it worse.
Hands-free devices can help reduce manual distraction. Assuming, of course, you don’t need to correct typos or words and phrases that were not heard correctly by the AI. They do not eliminate visual or cognitive distractions. They can increase these things. In some cases by a lot.
Hands-free devices can give the illusion of safety when they are actually causing several seconds of distraction at a time. Driving conditions can change in a fraction of a second. If you are not attentive and on task, your risk of being injured – or of injuring someone else – is much higher. The only way to honestly be sure that you are not distracted by electronics is by turning them off while you drive.
Injured? We are Here to Help
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and more. Give us a call at 833-546-3675 to schedule a free case review today. We have offices in Ft. Myers and Naples. We serve all surrounding communities.