We are all guilty of doing it. Looking at our cell phone, changing the radio station or even eating while driving are common tasks performed by many drivers. Some of us have even been caught putting makeup on while driving! Or attempting to drive is more like it. All of these things and more can lead to an accident. Taking your eyes off the road, even for more than a few seconds can have devastating consequences for you, your car, or worse, innocent bystanders.
No one ever thinks it can happen to them, but it can. 94% of crashes are attributed to driver error. In Ocala, and many other Florida cities, personal injury is a common problem for people affected by an accident on the road. People are distracted while driving, and an innocent bystander can easily get hurt.
Accidents are increasing each year, due to driver error. Crashes caused by distracted driving have increased by 25% in Florida alone since 2012. Many of these can be attributed to young people and their continuous love for technology. Drivers ages 20 to 29 are responsible for 31% of crashes. This statistic is startling, but true. Young people need to be aware of their surroundings and focused on driving safely.
Everyone knows someone who has been involved in a crash or devastating accident, due to negligent driving. It could be your daughter, your father, or even your best friend. The worst thing is that most of these accidents were preventable. No one would have gotten hurt, if someone had been more attentive while driving.
We see it on the news too often. In Ocala, and many other Florida cities, a personal injury is caused by a distracted driver, affecting an innocent person, sometimes even a child. In 2010, the Florida Department of Transportation created an Internet survey asking 1,287 respondents what the most serious traffic safety concerns were. The results were startling. 64% of the respondents said distracted and inattentive driving was a major safety concern. People know that others could be distracted while driving, but no one ever thinks they could be the cause of such an event themselves.
Florida Statute 316.193 describes strong punishments for drivers convicted of a DUI, which is a very common form of distracted driving. Drivers who enjoy texting, web browsing, or taking their eyes off the road for more than 5 seconds, appear to show a strong disconnect for the high potential for bodily harm. No one ever thinks they could cause an accident from being distracted. People seem to believe it will never happen to them, or that they could hurt someone by looking away for a few moments. It happens more frequently than we care to admit.
There are so many things that can affect road conditions and safety while driving. Harsh weather, other drivers, and hazards on the roadways should always be a cause for concern for cautious drivers. Defensive driving can help save lives and keep us focused on the task at hand: getting where we need to go safely and effectively.
The amount of money needed to pay for damages and medical costs is staggering. Distracted driving crashes are responsible for $129 billion in societal costs in 2010 alone. That’s a lot of money, and someone has to foot the bill. If you are ever in an accident in Ocala, a personal injury can literally ruin your life, or other’s lives. The most important thing is to always be prepared and think ahead.
Drivers should always have a plan. Know who you can call if you are ever a victim of personal injury or negligent driving. Have a lawyer on speed dial to help make sure you won’t be stuck with the cost and headache of a distracted driver. Always drive defensively, and put away distracting items, such as cell phones and food.