According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), distracted driving resulted in more than 450 000 injuries and 5500 fatalities. The NHTSA has worked to reduce distracted driving on the nation’s streets and even helped to institute a ban on texting and driving for commercial truck drivers. However, distracted driving still continues to cause Miami car crashes and truck accidents.
There are many things that you can do to help reduce instances of distracted driving on the roads:
1) Raise awareness. Many people are not aware that simple tasks, such as eating or drinking or checking messages can be a hazardous distraction behind the wheel. Many drivers also think that driving with a hands-free device is safer, even though studies have shown that headsets are not significantly safer than hand-held devices. The NHTSA website devoted to distracted driving education (http://distraction.gov/content/get-involved/index.html) has a number of resources that can help you educate others about the dangers of distracted driving.
2) Don’t drive distracted yourself. Every time you take your eyes off the road or allow your mind to wander from the task of driving, your accident risk is 23 times higher than it would be if you were driving distraction-free. Even if the commercial truck drivers around you are following guidelines and driving distraction-free, you can still cause a serious Miami truck accident by driving distracted yourself. The NHTSA website has a pledge that you can sign with friends and family to vow not to drive distracted.
3) Get involved in changing laws. Although there are laws preventing commercial drivers across the US from texting and driving, not all states have similarly strict laws against distracted driving for drivers of passenger vehicles. Currently, 35 states ban texting and driving while nine states ban drivers from using handheld cell phones for talking, texting, or any other purposes. Currently, Florida is one of the states with no laws against texting and driving, despite efforts by advocacy groups who claim that distracted driving leads to many Miami traffic accidents and Florida accidents each year. Preemption laws in Florida make it difficult for localities to pass and enforce laws against distracted driving. However, you can write to your local representatives if you feel strongly about the issue, in order to encourage your representatives to seek solutions.
4) Encourage strict penalties for commercial drivers who do violate the no texting and driving rule. Unfortunately, while most commercial truck drivers do take the texting ban seriously, some Miami truck accidents each year are caused by drivers who violate the rule. If you feel strongly about this, you can write to your elected representatives to encourage harsher penalties for drivers who violate distracted driving laws.
Another thing you can do is to pursue legal action if you are injured in a Miami truck accident or traffic accident caused by a distracted driver. When truck carriers are forced by the courts to pay damages for accidents caused by distracted drivers, they are more likely to aggressively seek to eliminate distracted driving from their business. It simply becomes profitable to do so. As well, if you have been injured because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to recovery for medical costs, lost income, and other damages. If you have been injured, contact the experienced and compassionate legal team at the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to review your case with a South Florida attorney.