Over 25 years of experience in personal injury law

Since 1992 Vince Bruner has devoted his practice solely to work as a Plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, dedicated to assisting people injured in accidents.

Panama City Distracted Driving Attorneys

If you have been in an accident with a distracted driver, contact the Panama City car accident attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm to schedule a free case review.

We all lead fast-paced lives, and we have a million different things vying for our attention. However, the most important thing we should be dedicating our attention to is often lost in the shuffle, the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2018, distracted driving claimed the lives of 2,841 people and accounts for at least 25 percent of all motor vehicle crashes.

A shocking study reported on by the Sun Sentinel finds that Florida is ranked as the second-worst state for distracted driving. Distracted drivers are putting you and your family at risk every time you get out on the road.

At The Bruner Law Firm, our team has the knowledge and the skills to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a distracted driver. Drivers not paying attention to the road could cost you your car, your health, your life, or the life of a loved one.

Don’t spend your life paying for someone else’s mistake. Let us help you hold distracted drivers accountable and get you the money you need to cover your medical bills and property damage. Call us today at (850) 769-9292 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Panama City accident lawyer.

What Is Distracted Driving?

The term “distracted driving” is a broad one. While we may jump straight into thinking of cell phones, distracted driving is defined as any type of activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the act of safe driving. A person cannot operate a vehicle safely if their attention is even partially focused on something other than the road.

We have been led to believe that multitasking is a necessity, when in fact the act of multitasking can give you a false sense of control and awareness. When it comes to driving, there is no safe way to multitask, you are putting yourself and others at risk. As research shows, there is mounting evidence that multitasking is a myth that could end up costing you in the long run.

Types of Distracted Driving

Three main types of distractions can pull a driver’s attention away from the road, creating a dangerous situation for themselves and others. These types of distractions include:

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are things that draw or take someone’s eyes off the road. Visual distractions could include looking down at a phone, paying attention to a distracting passenger, looking at a car accident on the road, or looking for something that may have been dropped. It can be anything that takes someone’s eyes away from the road for any reason, for any length of time.

Many people think taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds is no big deal. Consider this piece of information from the Centers for Disease Control. It takes about five seconds for someone to look down at a text. In that time, going 55 mph, that person can cover the length of an entire football field. So, in the time to took to look at that text, a person covered the length of a football field without ever seeing what was on the road. That’s not only dangerous, it can also be deadly.

Manual Distractions

This form of distraction means someone’s hands are being taken off the wheel of the car. Eating or drinking while driving is a good example of manual distraction. Other forms of manual distraction include applying makeup, grooming, changing the radio station, entering information into a navigation system, and texting or operating a cell phone.

Not having the hands on the wheel of the vehicle can cause serious problems. In the time it takes to put someone’s hand back on the wheel of the car, they have lost precious seconds that could have been used to avoid a hazard or collision on the road.

Cognitive Distractions

This type of distraction is more subtle. It involved taking your mind off the road or letting it wander to the point you are not consciously focusing on driving. We all have things we are constantly having to think about or worry over. However, when a driver’s mind goes off in a different direction and its focus is on work, or home, or school, it means that driver doesn’t have the cognitive ability to react to situations that may arise on the road. This slows reaction time and could cause a chain reaction of bad decisions and actions.

Florida Laws on Distracted Driving

Like so many other states, Florida has been forced to come to grips with the dangers of distracted driving, especially as it pertains to cell phones. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has teamed up with the Florida Department of Transportation for the “Put it Down. Focus on Driving” Campaign, in order to remind drivers to put down their phones while driving.

The campaign has gone into effect almost at the same time as a new Florida law that allows all law enforcement officers to stop motor vehicles they suspect of texting and driving. Section 316.305 took effect on July 1, 2019. It stipulates that a driver may not manually type or enter multiple letters, numbers, or symbols into a phone or wireless communication device.

Also, Section 316.306 of Florida law prohibits using any wireless communication devices in a handheld manner in a school or a work zone. The penalties for not complying with the new law can include fines, court costs, and points against your driver’s license.

Consequences of Distracted Driving

While the law wants to keep distracted drivers off the roads, sometimes it just isn’t enough to penalize people. Distracted driving can have far more serious consequences than a fine or points against your driver’s license. The reality of distracted driving it that it injures, and it kills.

Here are some of the more common injuries that can happen as a result of a crash caused by a distracted driver:

  • Concussion
  • Head, neck, or spinal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Chest and rib injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Burns
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Depending on the nature of your injuries, you could be stuck paying off hospital bills for years. Not to mention the time off work you have to take to recover, the cost of your damaged property, time away from loved ones, and the time spent in recovery. The toll a crash like this could take on your mind and body are tremendous.

You deserve fair compensation for your injuries and your suffering. An insurance company, if the driver is insured, may not be able to cover everything you’ll eventually need to pay for. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a distracted driving accident, it pays to speak with an experienced accident attorney, like the team at The Bruner Law Firm. Your financial future may be at stake. Don’t put it in the hands of a distracted drivers’ insurance company.

Can an Accident Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Distracted driving is completely preventable, yet it continues to happen on Panama City roads. Distracted driving can have devastating consequences for you and your family, from medical bills, to losing your job, to dealing with the mental trauma of being involved in a serious accident.

At The Bruner Law Firm, we understand that you are going through a terrible ordeal right now. The last thing you want to do is make your life even more complicated. The reality is, getting an experienced lawyer on your side can make your situation less nerve-wracking. We pride ourselves on taking the burden off your shoulders and fighting aggressively to protect your rights and recover the compensation that you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, call us at (850) 769-9292. We offer a free consultation to go over the facts surrounding your case. Our Panama City car accident attorneys can walk you through the legal process, prepare you for what’s to come, and give you advice on your legal options. Don’t let someone else’s insurance company take advantage of you while you are at your most vulnerable. Call us today and let us help you get back on your feet.

Written by Vincent Michael Last Updated : April 29, 2020

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