Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Safety Council postponed the observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month from April to October 2020.
Similar to Drunk Driving
Everyone knows that impaired driving is wrong. Impaired driving doesn’t just include alcohol or drugs. Texting while driving is just as bad.
According to AAA Auto Club Group spokesperson Adrienne Woodland, “A distracted driver is similar to an intoxicated one. When a driver’s attention is diverted from the road, their reaction-time slows and lives are jeopardized.” Car and Driver magazine tested drivers and found that texting is actually worse than drunk driving.
The statistics are overwhelming.
According to 2018 statistics from The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Among those killed: 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists.
- 400,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. That’s almost SIX times the seating capacity of TIAA Bank Field where the Jacksonville Jaguars play, and in just ONE year.
In 2019, Florida laws made texting while driving a primary offense which means drivers can be pulled over for just texting and driving. The first violation carries a $30 fine, and the second a $60 fine, but court costs are added, so it’s not just the fine that’s paid. Unfortunately, the law appears to let drivers’ text while sitting stopped in traffic. Drivers in school or work zones are prohibited from holding their cell phones; they must be hands-free.
However, the stakes are higher for businesses whose employees cause an accident while talking, texting or using a cell phone while driving, while they are in the course and scope of employment. Drivers across the country are facing criminal charges when texting while driving claims a life.
Insurance Rates Increase
Drivers who text are risk-takers. Insurance companies want to insure safe drivers and if a driver receives a ticket for distracted driving, their insurance company may raise their rates.
Distracted Driving Presentations
“One text or call can wreck it all.” In 2012 Terrell • Hogan began offering free Distracted Driving Awareness presentations to students and adult drivers, including company and non-profit policy makers. More than 10,000 people on the First Coast have participated. To request a free presentation for your school, business, civic group or non-profit call (904) 722-2228.
Injured by a Distracted Driver?
Terrell • Hogan represents the injured as they seek justice. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver or someone under the influence, you should contact a Jacksonville personal injury attorney who has the resources and experience to represent you. Consider contacting our firm for a complimentary consultation.