April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Tampa Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Another distracted driving accident occurred last week when a young mother was out for an afternoon walk with her three small children. While driving down the opposite side of the road, a driver became distracted by a cigarette and swerved, hitting three of the four family members from behind. The family was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, where an innocent three-year-old little girl passed away from her traumatic injuries. This tragic car accident is a somber reminder that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic on our local, state and national roadways. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in auto accidents involving distracted drivers in the United States. In Florida, distracted drivers caused more than 45,000 car crashes last year. And, of those distracted driving accidents, more than 200 fatalities and more than 39,000 injuries were reported. With such numbers and statistics, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding all drivers to focus on driving.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention or mind away from driving, and anything that causes a person to take his hand off the wheel or eyes off the road. These types of distractions may include:
- Cell phone use
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming (brushing hair, applying makeup, shaving, etc.)
- Reading (including maps)
- Using the navigation system
- Adjusting the radio, CD player or MP3 player
Contact Capaz Law Firm: Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Tampa
Distractions are deadly; however, most distractions are avoidable. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has provided the following “top 10 tips to avoid distractions while driving”:
10. Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.
9. Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.
8. Make adjustments before you begin your trip. Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.
7. Finish dressing and personal grooming at home – before you get on the road.
6. Snack smart. If possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while driving. On the road, avoid messy foods that can be difficult to manage.
5. Secure children and pets before getting underway. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
4. Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving – handheld or hands-free – except in absolute emergencies. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.
3. If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus safely on driving.
2. If another activity demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before heading out. Drivers should use caution while using voice-activated systems, even at seemingly safe moments when there is a lull in traffic or the car is stopped at an intersection, because potentially dangerous distractions can last longer than most drivers expect.
1. As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.
Hurt or Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers
Despite every precaution that you may take to avoid being involved in a car accident, sometimes you cannot prevent being struck by a distracted driver. If you or someone you know has been involved in a distracted driving accident, contact the Tampa car accident attorneys at Capaz Law Firm to discuss your potential claim. Our distracted driving accident lawyers in Tampa will fully investigate your claim and provide you with competent, compassionate and aggressive representation throughout each stage of your claim. Call Capaz Law Firm today.