If someone asks every motorist in Florida whether he or she has ever been distracted behind the wheel, those answering honestly would likely say, "Yes." In fact, you may find your own mind wandering from time to time as you navigate roadways and travel from one destination to another. If you happen to glance at a billboard on the side of the road, or look at the clock on your vehicle dashboard, you certainly won't be the first driver ever to do so.
Studies show motor vehicle collisions can occur in an instant. Distracted driving is often the root cause of such incidents, and many drivers later say they only took their eyes off the road for a split second. You can also get into trouble with the law because of distracted driving. If a police officer sees a car weaving left to right in a lane of traffic, or thinks a motorist is applying brakes at inappropriate times, he or she may pull the vehicle over.
Prevention is key
There are several basic types of driving distractions. Knowing what they are, then trying to avoid them like the plague, is often crucial toward staying safe on the road. Below is a brief description of each:
- Cognitive distraction: It's fun to daydream at times, but you (and other travelers in your midst) will be far better off choosing some other place and time to do so than when you're driving a car. You may be surprised just how distracted you can become if you're focused on life's problems, what you're having for supper or the great date you had the other night instead of the task at-hand.
- Visual distraction: Keeping your eyes on the road and scanning your immediate surroundings are fundamental driving tips most new drivers learn. The problem is, some people get too comfortable behind the wheel and look elsewhere, such as at their GPS devices, off-road scenery or at themselves in their rear-view mirrors.
- Manual distraction: Do you eat food while driving? Do you change the station on your car radio? Do you ever reach into the backseat to hand something to a toddler? Do you smoke cigarettes while driving? These are all dangerous distractions that place you and others nearby at great risk for injury.
You can avoid distracted driving by eating before you drive, programming your GPS before starting the car, and leaving your cell phone off and out of reach. If you witness another driver doing any of the things on the above list, or otherwise acting distracted, you can hopefully find a way to place a safe distance between your two vehicles. If a distracted driver collides with you and you suffer injury, you may want to focus on available options for achieving as full a recovery as possible.
A Florida personal injury attorney can guide you through the personal injury claims process if you decide to pursue justice in court. An experienced attorney can aggressively litigate on your behalf to seek monetary judgment against the party or parties deemed responsible for your accident.