Watch out for drunk or distracted drivers on Florida roads
Florida roads can be dangerous in the summer from distracted or intoxicated drivers. Summer is a social time in central Florida, but motor-vehicle drivers need to take care to remain focused and vigilant behind the wheel. Teens and college students are on summer break from school. Families take to the roads for vacations and day trips to Florida beaches and theme parks. Holidays, weddings, graduations – all great reasons for summer parties that sometimes include alcohol.
In addition, coordinating all of these activities takes planning and nowadays people plan using their mobile phones, especially via text messaging. Cell-phone use is a highly risky type behavior behind the wheel that causesdistracted driving. Indeed, mobile phone use while driving a motor vehicle is considered distraction of the most dangerous kind because it uses many senses that should instead be focused on the driving task at hand: tactile, visual, cognitive and sometimes auditory.
SUMMER ROAD DANGERS
Floridians must be especially careful on the summer roads to protect themselves and their loved ones from drunk and distracted drivers who could cause dangerous truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and car accidents.
According to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, July Fourth, for example is the second most dangerous holiday nationally when it comes to running red lights, after Memorial Day. NCSR points to distracted driving as contributing to the summer increase in red-light violations.
NCSR also mentions the increased accident risk from longer driving trips in the summer, as well as from summer drinking.
DISTRACTED OR DRUNK DRIVER LIABILITY
A driver who does so while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is engaging in negligent, reckless and sometimes criminal behavior, and if this type of behavior causes injury or death to another person, the driver will be liable to the victim in a personal injury lawsuit (or to the victim’s survivors in a wrongful death scenario.)
The National Highway Transportation Safety Board says that almost 80 percent of motor-vehicle accidents “involve some form of driver distraction.” On the issue of drinking and driving, the NHTSB notes that statistically, every 51 minutes or 32 times daily someone loses his or her life in a U.S. alcohol-related car crash.
FLORIDA LEGAL COUNSEL
Any Floridian injured on a summer road trip by the negligence or recklessness of anyone behind the wheel, especially if alcohol or distraction were involved, should speak as soon as possible with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. A skilled legal professional can investigate the incident on behalf of the victim, including looking at the driver’s cell phone records to determine whether talking or texting could have contributed to the accident.
The injured party’s lawyer can deal with the insurance companies involved, negotiate for a fair settlement and take the matter to court in a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.