Were You Injured by a Driver who was Texting and Driving?
Texting and driving in Florida is out of control.
We are in the midst of an epidemic. Florida’s drivers, whether they live here or are visiting from out of town, routinely use their smartphones while driving. It’s an incredibly dangerous habit, and it has resulted in death and heartache for Florida families over and over again.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by someone texting while driving, we understand your frustration. You’re now suffering because someone else made a selfish, irresponsible decision — something they knew was dangerous and did anyway. If someone is going to pay the price for the damages, it should be them, not you.
The pain in these cases is even worse when the victim loses his or her life. As Fort Myers car accident lawyers, we have seen firsthand how cell phones can cause heartrending devastation for people who don’t deserve it.
There is No Excuse for Texting While Driving
Not a single one of these accidents had to happen. They were all preventable. And the duty of prevention belongs to the person who texts behind the wheel. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because someone was using a phone on the road, here’s what you need to know: There is never an excuse for texting while driving.
Victims and their families are often entitled to substantial financial compensation in these cases. Florida offers tremendous protection to people who are hurt by negligent drivers and that protection even applies when the crash is unquestionably an accident. The driver’s insurance company can be held liable even if the driver never meant to hurt anyone.
These cases aren’t easy. The burden of proof is on the victim, and the insurance company will fight hard to pay as little as possible. We can help.
Why Hire Us to Handle Your Case?
Viles & Beckman, LLC is an aggressive personal injury law firm in Fort Myers, FL. For more than two decades, we’ve advocated for the rights of accident victims throughout Southwest Florida. We are dedicated to fighting insurance companies and maximizing our clients’ compensation. If you’ve been hurt and someone else is at fault, you are legally entitled to financial recovery. You can’t count on defendants or insurers to hand over money just because they have to, though. The playing field gets much fairer once you have an aggressive attorney team on your side. That’s where we come in.
Distracted Driving Isn’t Worth the Risk
When you choose to text and drive, or otherwise drive without your full attention on the road, you put other’s, and your life and safety, at serious risk. Every day, more than 9 people die due to distracted driving. Additionally, more than 1,000 people are seriously injured by a distracted driver, every single day in the US. This is a serious public health risk that needs to be addressed, especially as more and more technology continues to play a larger part in our everyday lives.
It is estimated, that roughly 20% of Florida car accidents are caused by some kind of distraction. This is a disturbing trend, but it makes clear a logical idea. Simply, if people stopped driving while distracted, we could reduce car accidents by a full 20 percent. When taken as a whole, this means that we could potentially reduce motor vehicle accidents across the US by at least 1.2 million every year if we stopped driving while distracted altogether. This is based on 6 million car accidents on average per year in the US.
Common Injuries From Texting While Driving Accidents
Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys are experienced in a wide range of Florida texting accidents. No case is too small, too big, or too medically sophisticated. Phone use while driving has caused a whole slew of injuries in Florida, ranging from minor fractures or contusions to catastrophic, life-altering injuries, permanent disability, and even death.
Specifically, common injuries caused by a car accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial lacerations
- Cuts, bruises, or burns
- Broken bones and fractures
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Florida Texting & Driving Accident Statistics
Texting and driving statistics are dismal in all fifty states but they are especially alarming here in The Sunshine State, where we lead the nation in distracted driving.
For purposes of statistical classification, distracted driving refers to any behavior that takes a driver’s eyes or attention away from the road. Texting while driving (and other smartphone usages) is, by far, the most common form of distracted driving.
Others Types of Distracted Driving
Other common examples of distracted driving include:
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking to friends
- Applying makeup
- Using a GPS
- Addressing children
- Reaching for an item
Distracted Driving Statistics Reveal Some Scary Facts
- In a recent joint study by the NHTSA, NMA, and MADD, Florida had more distracted driving infractions than any other state in the country.
- Distracted driving cases in Florida have increased by 25% since 2012.
- Teenagers account for only 5% of licensed drivers in Florida but for 12% of the state’s distracted driving crashes.
- 31% of distracted driving crashes are caused by drivers between the ages of 20 and 29.
- Nationally, more than 3,000 people are killed as a result of distracted driving every year. Some estimates put that number much higher, as police officers are often unaware of driver distractions by the time they reach the scene (or otherwise fail to note distractions in their reports).
- Experts now believe that cell phones play a role in approximately 25% of the car crashes in the United States.
What Causes Texting & Driving Accidents in Florida?
Texting and driving is different from most other instances of driver negligence. People tend to speed or drift into other lanes, for example, because they aren’t paying attention or are in a hurry. There’s no excuse for that and they can still be held liable, but those accidents are often accidental in the purest sense of that term.
In contrast, texting behind the wheel is a conscious decision. It’s something that people do even though they’ve been told again and again that it’s one of the deadliest decisions anyone can make. It is reckless and life-threatening.
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that seems to passively and tacitly accept texting and driving as ordinary behavior. Humans have long been susceptible to a false feeling of invincibility. Most of the people who have either died or killed someone in a texting accident genuinely believed that it wouldn’t happen to them. Drivers convince themselves that they are somehow an exception to the rule — that they’ve learned a “safe” way to text while driving. They are, of course, wrong. There is no safe way to use a smartphone while driving.
Compounding that feeling of invincibility is an outright addiction to smartphones in America. Our mobile devices have become extensions of our bodies and the temptation to use them is simply too powerful for some to resist. That is especially true for teenagers. In fact, teenagers cause more texting while driving injuries than any other demographic. Ten years ago, in fact, this was primarily a teenaged epidemic. That isn’t true anymore, though, as we have seen texting while driving soar among adults as well.
As Fort Myers texting and driving lawyers, this is an issue near and dear to our hearts. Texting drivers and the companies that insure them must be held accountable and the insurance companies and state legislatures must act to de-incentivize and penalize texting behind the wheel.
Smartphone Use in General While Driving Increases Accident Risk
Texting and driving is probably the most common example of how smartphone use while driving is dangerous but it is not the only example. Using a smartphone in general while driving is a sure way to significantly increase your chances of being involved in an accident. As time moves on, smartphones have advanced more and more and will continue to grow in capability with more tools that can be utilized while driving in a distracting manner. Currently, people can use their smartphones for music, GPS/directions, social media, cameras, video calls, and much more while driving.
Other than texting, social media is the other top driver distraction caused by smartphones. Many people use social media platforms for messaging friends and family while driving which is no better than texting while behind the wheel. In other instances, they check their social media and scroll through updates and posts when they should be paying attention to the road. The most commonly used social media platforms that distract drivers on the road include Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. The best thing to do is to either turn off the phone, put it away in a bag or glove box, or at the very least put it on airplane mode to avoid the distraction of getting messages and updates.
Free Consultation with Our Fort Myers Car Accident Lawyers
Proving that a driver was texting isn’t always easy. At Viles & Beckman, LLC, we work with investigative experts and our experienced legal team to identify the cause of your crash and pursue every available allegation of negligence. When you hire the attorneys of Viles & Beckman, you are giving your case the best chance possible at securing the compensation that you not only need but deserve for damages such as lost wages, medical bills, and mental anguish.
Our goal is to get you as much money as possible for your suffering. We know these cases can be emotionally challenging and that’s why we invite you to leave the heavy lifting to us.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Viles & Beckman LLC who have a combined experience of nearly 60 years: Marcus Viles, Michael Beckman or Maria Alaimo. The information provided in this article comes from years of experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida along with extensive research.