Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2017 - A recently released study found that Florida is the second worst state in the nation for distracted driving.
The study was performed by EverQuote Inc., an online insurance company, using data from its EverDrive app. The app measured sudden acceleration, speeding, hard braking, aggressive turning and similar driving behaviors that occurred while the driver’s phone was in use. Only Louisiana drivers were worse distracted drivers than Floridians.
“Distracted driving is a huge problem in Florida,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with the law firm of Joyce & Reyes. “Many car accidents are caused by drivers failing to keep their attention on the road.”
EverQuote said that the app kept track of 230 million miles driven and 2.7 million car trips. The study found that in a 30-day period, 92 percent of drivers who own cell phones used the device in a moving vehicle. The app measured only sudden movements while the device was in use, not while the device was in sleep mode or hands-free mode.
Florida law enforcement officers are limited in the actions they can take to curb distracted driving. Although texting while driving is against the law, it is a secondary offense, which means that a police officer cannot stop a driver for only that violation. Instead, the driver would have to commit some other violation, such as speeding, and then texting while driving could be added to the citation. Only four other states – South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio and Iowa – require another violation before police can pull over a motorist for distracted driving.
In 2016, there were nearly 50,000 Florida car accidents involving distracted driving, more than five collisions per hour, accounting for 233 deaths and 3,500 serious injuries. However, law enforcement officials say the actual numbers may be much higher, because many people involved in an accident do not want to admit that they were using their cell phone.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606