Whether you live in Florida all year long or consider yourself a “snowbird” who arrives here every winter to escape inclement weather back home, you no doubt have encountered heavy traffic on numerous occasions. Between tourists, full- and part-time residents, state roads can become cluttered and difficult to safely navigate.
While there are no guarantees that you’ll safely arrive to any particular destination while driving, you can reasonably expect all motorists with whom you’re sharing the road to adhere to traffic laws. Distracted drivers are menaces to highway safety. If someone hits you while looking down at a cell phone or adjusting knobs on a car radio, you might suffer more than physical injuries.
There are several types of distraction that put you at risk for collision
You have no way of knowing what another driver is thinking or what he or she is going to do behind the wheel. The following list shows three separate categories of distraction that can cause a driver to lose control of steering or fail to stop in time to avoid hitting another vehicle:
- Manual distractions: When you learned to drive, your instructor no doubt told you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Drivers who take their hands off the wheel, especially if they’re multi-tasking, are manually distracted.
- Visual distractions: If a driver is gawking at a roadside scene or looking around to his or her backseat, etc., he or she has no way of knowing what’s going on in front of the vehicle. Visual distractions cause thousands of serious, even fatal collisions each year.
- Cognitive distractions: While you might see a driver texting, you have no way of knowing what a driver is thinking. Cognitive distractions include daydreaming, talking to passengers or someone on the phone, or otherwise losing oneself in thought while driving.
Perhaps you’re sharing the road with a driver who had an argument with a spouse the night before, and he or she is mulling it over in his or her mind while driving. If the driver’s focus is not on the task at hand, you and anyone else in the vicinity are at great risk for collision and injury.
What if a distracted driver hits you?
Obtaining medical attention is always a top priority in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision. If your physical injuries are severe, you may endure a long, arduous recovery. Such incidents also often result in emotional trauma and financial distress, which is why state law allows recovering victims to seek financial recovery for their losses in court.