Smartphones and other connected devices have become ubiquitous in today's society. Go just about anywhere, and you are bound to see at least one person – and likely several – who are looking down at their phones, oblivious to their surroundings. Despite the obvious risks that this presents behind the wheel, texting, talking, taking selfies and using social media while driving are all very common, and each year thousands of people lose their lives to distracted driving.The Distracted Driving Epidemic in America
Consider these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their phones behind the wheel at any moment in time.
- According to the most-recent data, close to 400,000 people are injured and nearly 3,500 are killed in accidents involving distracted drivers each year.
- Handheld smartphone use behind the wheel has increased by 267 percent since 2009. This reflects increased handheld smartphone use in all age groups (16 to 24, 25 to 69, and 70 and older).
- Younger drivers (ages 16 to 24) are the most likely to text, take selfies and use social media while driving. In an NHTSA study, nearly 1 out of every 20 young drivers was observed visibly manipulating a handheld device behind the wheel.
While some stories of distracted driving capture the headlines (such as the story of a teenage girl who caused a severe accident while using Snapchat to post that she was driving at 109 mph), far more often, the victims of these accidents go unrecognized. Worse, in far too many cases, victims end up paying the costs of distracted drivers' mistakes for the rest of their lives. These costs can include:
- Emergency room medical bills
- Ongoing medical treatment, therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Prescription medication costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Inability to work
- Inability to enjoy life
- Pain, suffering and emotional trauma
These are all costs for which financial compensation is available; but, the insurance companies won't pay without a fight. As a result, accident victims who don't know how to protect their rights can suffer the physical, financial and emotional consequences of distracted drivers' mistakes for years, if not decades, to come.What Distracted Driving Victims Can Do to Protect Their Rights
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the best thing you can do is take action. Generally speaking, this means hiring an attorney to help you assert your legal rights. Not only will this help ensure that you receive just compensation for your losses, but it will also help – at least in some small way – in the fight against distracted driving.Contact a Florida Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Today
For more information about the risks of distracted driving and your rights as the victim of a distracted driving accident, contact a Florida law firm for a free consultation. To speak with an experienced attorney in confidence, contact us online today.