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Texting While Driving Can Lead to Serious Automobile Accidents

July 28, 2009
By Gabriel Mejia, Esq. on July 28, 2009 10:09 AM | | Comments (0)

Although it may seem like common sense to many South Florida residents, a new study confirms that texting (or text messaging) while driving is the most dangerous cell phone task. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study showed that heavy truck drivers were 23 times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers. The reason for the increase in the likelihood of automobile accidents is that texting drivers take their eyes off the road for nearly five seconds at a time which according to reports is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. Other cell phone tasks also increase the risk of car accidents including a 2.8 times higher risk of crashing while dialing the phone and a 1.3 times higher risk while talking on the phone.

An experiment conducted by Car and Driver Magazine showed that the reaction time of a driver attempting to brake is worse while sending and reading text messages than that of an impaired or drunk driver.  According to the article, one driver's reaction time decreased an average of 0.68 seconds while texting at 70 miles per hour compared to when braking without distraction.  At that speed, it took the driver an average of 70 additional feet to stop his vehicle while texting and driving.  The same driver's reaction time decreased by 0.04 seconds while attempting the same experiment while impaired.

Florida has yet to ban texting while driving and does not require the use of hands-free devices. There have been pushes in the Florida legislator to takes steps against these obviously dangerous driving activities including a bill re-introduced this year by Representative Doug Holder. Florida has also recently started the "Stay Alive ... Just Drive!" campaign which is aimed at preventing injury and death caused by automobile accidents through education and awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Even though Florida has not yet banned cell phone activities while driving, Florida drivers are still responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times. There are far too many stories of distracted Florida drivers causing accidents that result in injuries to others including one driver that was so distracted she crashed into a police car. Although cell phone distraction stats are not specifically kept in Florida, they fall under the "distracted driver" category of accident causes which accounted for 15 fatalities and 1,436 injuries in Florida in 2008 according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver distracted while using his cell phone, it is important to contact an attorney that is experienced in handling auto accident cases.  An experienced car accident lawyer will protect your rights against insurance companies and negligent drivers that do not have your best interest in mind, while working hard to get you the compensation you deserve.

Gabriel Mejia, Esq. is a Coral Springs personal injury attorney handling accident and injury cases in Florida for Law Offices Cytryn and Velazquez, P.A.

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