Distracted driving is a widespread problem that can have deadly consequences. In 2020, there were over 3,142 motor vehicle deaths involving distracted drivers. That’s one death every 8 minutes. Distracted driving poses an exceptional risk to victims because the person behind the wheel often fails to attempt emergency maneuvers, such as braking.
If you suspect that the other driver in your crash was texting or otherwise distracted behind the wheel, speak with a Vero Beach distracted driving accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo. We can help you get the compensation your case deserves. Reach out to schedule a free consultation.
Here are some of the main reasons that distracted driving in Indian River County is so dangerous:
- Cars can become weapons. Imagine someone driving a Toyota Carolla and flying through a red light on a road with a posted speed limit of 50 mph. If that vehicle strikes a person or object, it is roughly 3,200 lbs of metal making an impact at 50 mph.
- Distracted drivers have delayed reflex reactions. Distracted drivers often cause the crash without seeing it unfold or reacting in time. Failure to react to an incoming hazard increases the risk of a fatal car accident.
- Other road users have fewer protections. Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, scooter riders, and skaters have far fewer protections than vehicle occupants and are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in an accident.
Florida law primarily targets texting and talking while driving but can cover all wireless communications devices. It prohibits drivers from using devices that meet the following criteria while operating a vehicle:
- Can be held in the hand
- Designed or used for transmitting or receiving character-based and text-based messages
- Can store or access data
- Can connect to any communication service, such as the internet
Examples include cell phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and laptops.
While the law does not address specific car features, experts recognize that AC controls and infotainment systems can also lead to distracted driving.
There are several ways to categorize distracted driving. Experts often break them down into their most common examples, such as eating and phone use. Florida law takes a different approach and recognizes three categories:
- Visual: That’s when a person takes their eyes off the road, such as staring at a phone or checking the GPS.
- Cognitive: This happens when someone is preoccupied with something other than driving, such as daydreaming or talking on the phone.
- Manual: This occurs when someone takes their hands off the wheel, such as texting on a hand-held device or eating food.
Drivers do not face severe penalties for violating these laws in Eastern Florida. Costs are as low as $30, with only a three-point assessment. This is one of the least-severe assessments, and drivers can typically address it with a four-hour class. For reference, here are additional three-point offenses in Florida:
- Failure to stop at a red light
- Failure to yield
- Improper backing up
- Careless driving (not the same as reckless driving in Florida)
The damages and injuries individuals face will vary according to the specifics of each accident. For example, consider the case of someone inside a parked car struck at 20 mph hour. This person will likely have minor injuries compared to a child struck at 40 mph while exiting a school bus.
Compensation will depend heavily upon the injuries and damages. It will also depend on the skill and experience of the Vero Beach car accident attorney you hire to handle your case. This is why working with a qualified lawyer with a track record of multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements is so important.
Money by no means brings back life or reverses harm done. However, it provides people with the resources to move forward from terrible situations.
Here are some of our car crash results at Kogan & DiSalvo:
- $1 million for a motorcyclist hit by a car
- $995,000 for a bicyclist hit by a car in the bike lane
- $787,000 for a jogger struck by a vehicle while on the grass next to a street
- $635,000 in wrongful death claims for a car collision on the driver side
- $500,000 for a pedestrian struck by a car in a shopping plaza
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney in Vero Beach does not guarantee your desired results, but it levels the playing field. After all, the insurance company representing the distracted driver will have a team of lawyers ready to argue that you, and not their client, were to blame for the crash. Why go up against them alone?
Our experienced lawyers charge no upfront fees. Instead, we recover our compensation after securing a settlement for your injuries. Are you ready to see what we can do for you? Contact us to get started with a no-cost consultation.