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August 29, 2012

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) has issued a distracted driving report from data they collected in 2008, and the statistics are equal parts surprising and disturbing. Despite public awareness campaigns and numerous studies linking distracted driving and sharply elevated accident rates, many drivers continue to engage in a variety of risky distracted driving behaviors while behind the wheel.

The FDHSMV categorizes distracted driving as the following:

  • Eating and drinking
  • An outside person, object or event: animal, a crash scene or road construction
  • Adjusting a radio, cassette, compact disc player, iPod or GPS device
  • Other occupant in the vehicle: talking, arguing or assisting a child
  • A moving object in the vehicle: a pet, an insect or an object falling off the seat
  • Smoking related: reaching for, lighting, smoking or dropping a cigarette
  • Cell phone related: dialing, talking, listening, texting or reaching for a cell phone
  • Other device brought into the vehicle: reaching for a water bottle, purse or sun glasses
  • Using a device integral to the vehicle: adjusting mirrors, lights or seatbelt
  • Other distraction: a medical issue, looking at a map or road sign, sleepy or fatigue
  • Inattentive or lost in thought

In an often-cited study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute a few years ago, researchers studied long-haul truckers for 18 months to gather distracted driving data. They installed video cameras in the cabs of truckers and found that texting drivers were 23 times more likely to cause an accident than those who did not text while driving. They also found that in the moments before an accident or near accident, drivers typically had their eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 mph, a driver covers a distance longer than a football field in five seconds.

The FDHSMV report also included the following distracted driving statistics:

  • Over half of U.S. drivers report having used a cell phone in the past 30 days.
  • One in seven drivers admits to text messaging while driving.
  • Forty-six percent of 16 and 17-year-old drivers say they text message while driving.
  • Forty-eight percent of 18 to 24-year-old drivers text message while driving.
  • Sixty-seven percent of 25-34-year-old drivers talk on their cell phones while driving.
  • Sixty-five percent of drivers with a college education talk on their cell phones while driving. The higher the level of education, the higher the cell phone use while behind the wheel.

If you or someone in your family has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver and you would like to speak with an Orlando distracted driving lawyer, call James O. Cunningham today at 800-425-2004. Mr. Cunningham has been helping injured people receive damages from negligent drivers for nearly four decades and has a proven record of success in court cases and negotiated settlements. If you would like to speak with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney, call him today to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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