Because distracted driving continues to be a problem in Florida and is really an epidemic affecting our nation, the National Safety Council wants to bring attention to this problem for the entire month, as April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this national safety issue is threatening all drivers and passengers on the road.

There are about 400,000 injuries and approximately 3,000 fatalities that occur every year in distracted driving accidents, according to the Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sadly, these injuries and deaths are preventable if drivers would stay focused on the road and not get distracted at the wheel.

A big culprit is texting and driving. For some reason, many drivers feel like they can text and drive and not hurt themselves or anyone else. But it is shocking to know that a person is 23 times more likely to get into a crash while texting and driving, according to a Virginia Tech Safety Institute study.

Types of Distracted Driving

Texting at the wheel isn’t the only cause of distracted driving. Many distracted driving accidents in Florida and around this nation occur from drivers sending an email, updating a social media account, talking on their cell phones, dialing a phone number, or focusing on voice commands. Many people assume that talking on a cell phone hands-free isn’t distracted driving; however, it may shock you to find out that this action is still considered distracted driving.

According to NSC, over 30 studies have revealed that hands-free devices aren’t safer than drivers who use handheld cell phones; however, the majority of drivers believe they are being safe by using hands-free devices. Basically, anything a driver does that takes his or her eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind and attention off of driving—even for a couple seconds—can lead to a distracted driving accident.

The biggest problem with talking on a phone—handheld or hands-free—is that a driver’s brain is distracted by the conversation. This is why many drivers fail to see a stop sign, red light, or a pedestrian crossing the road. As a personal injury lawyer in South Florida who sees many people injured by distracted drivers, I urge you to drive cell free and take NSC’s Focused Driver Challenge.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver in a Fort Lauderdale car crash, please call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation and learn about your legal rights.