When car and truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other cities occur, passenger car occupants are usually the ones injured due to the size difference between the two types of vehicles. While in some cases truck drivers cause the accident, distracted passenger car drivers are a major contributor to both truck and car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across the state. While truck drivers are subject to strict federal rules designed to prevent fatigued driving, passenger car drivers have far fewer rules to follow. This means that passenger car drivers must take responsibility to prevent collisions. According to experts, there are several things that passenger car drivers can do to curb distracted driving:
1) Adjust car systems before driving or ask a passenger for help. It is a good idea to use a pre-programmed playlist on an MP3 player on a longer drive or to rely on pre-programmed radio stations, since changing a CD can be very dangerous on the road. In addition to music, A/C, mirrors, and other basic items should be changed or adjusted before starting the car – not on the road.
2) Mobile devices should be off when driving. Much has been written about distracted driving and cell phones. While commercial truck drivers are banned from texting and driving, Florida drivers of passenger cars do not face the same ban. Despite this, the road is safer for everyone when all drivers focus on the road rather than their cell phone. Turn the cell phone off before hopping in the car so that you will not be tempted to check the device. Studies have shown that talking or texting while talking does contribute to traffic accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other US cities. Research has also suggested that hands-free devices are not entirely safe, either, as they remove a driver’s focus from the road. The best practice, experts agree, is to leave mobile devices off entirely when driving.
3) Set rules for passengers. Conversations with other passengers can be very distracting. In fact, studies have shown that teen drivers, in particular, significantly increase their risk of a car accident with every passenger in the car with them. For adult drivers, children and pets can be a significant distraction. For this reason, it is a good idea to distract children with child-appropriate car games and to set rules for car rides. Pets should be placed in kennels or carriers for every car ride.
4) Do not eat or drink while driving. While many people know that drinking and driving accidents in Fort Lauderdale are a serious concern, many do not realize that safety experts consider drinking coffee (or any beverage) while driving to be very dangerous as well. Eating and drinking takes your focus off the road and if you spill your food you may be distracted enough to cause a serious collision.
Have you been injured by a distracted driver? You can always contact the Flaxman Law Group to review your situation with a personal injury attorney – your initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation.