Distracted driving accidents have become increasingly common in recent years, as smartphones and other electronic devices have become more widespread. If you’ve been injured in a collision, it’s important to understand what your rights are and what to expect from filing a distracted driving accident claim in Lutz, FL.
What Does Distracted Driving Mean?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the task of driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are three main types of distractions:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off of driving
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, changing the radio station, and even talking to passengers are all common distractions that can lead to accidents.
Distracted Driving: By the Numbers
In 2021 alone, there were 56,425 documented distracted driving accidents on Florida roads resulting in 333 deaths and 2,723 serious injuries. Approximately nine people are killed every day in the U.S. in an accident reported to involve a distracted driver, and 15-20 is the age demographic with the highest percentage of fatalities from distracted driving, representing 7% of the total fatalities nationwide.
Here’s another scary statistic: If you send a text message while driving 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It only takes an instant for an accident to happen when you’re not paying attention to the road.
Common Injuries in Distracted Driving Accidents in Lutz, Fl
Because distracted driving accidents often involve high speeds and can happen without warning, the injuries suffered in these collisions can be quite severe. Common injuries include:
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries, including whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
What Damages Can I Recover If I Was Injured by a Distracted Driver in Florida?
In Florida, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers the first $10,000 of medical expenses and lost wages regardless of fault. If you suffer a serious injury caused by the other driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for damages beyond that $10,000 including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death (in the event that a loved one was killed in the accident)
- Punitive damages (in cases of gross negligence or recklessness)
Preventing a Distracted Driving Accident
Of course, the best way to deal with distracted driving accidents in Lutz, FL, is to avoid them in the first place. If you’re going to be behind the wheel, make sure to put away your phone and any other distractions so you can focus on the task at hand. If you’re a passenger, speak up if you see the driver engaging in unsafe behaviors like texting or fiddling with the radio.
Get Help from a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in Lutz, FL
Tania Rivas is a Lutz, Florida, car accident attorney who fights for the rights of accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, Rivas Law Group is here to help. Call (813) 406-4460 to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case.