When you are traveling in Florida, whether you live here year ’round or visit as a tourist on occasion, you are not responsible for the actions of other motorists. You, of course, are obligated to adhere to traffic laws, but you are not obligated to make sure that other drivers do the same. Approximately nine people die each day in motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted drivers.
If someone is not paying attention at the wheel, he or she might have a cognitive, visual or manual distraction. This means that the person’s mind, eyes or hands are doing something other than what they should be doing, which is concentrating on operation of the motor vehicle. One type of driving distraction places you at great risk for serious injuries, if a nearby motorist is doing it, which is eating or drinking behind the wheel.
A driver who is eating or drinking might cause a collision
You might not think it is dangerous to eat or drink while driving. In fact, you may have done it yourself from time to time. However, even the slightest mishap, such as spilling hot coffee or dropping food into your lap, might cause you to jerk the wheel or lose control of steering altogether, which could result in a collision.
When someone is eating or drinking, his or her mind is on the meal, not on the road ahead, while driving. It’s always best to safely pull off the road, eat your meal, then start driving again, rather than try to eat a sandwich or snack or drink something while you are operating a motor vehicle.
Thousands die every year because of distracted drivers
Fatal collision statistics show that several thousand people die every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers. You don’t necessarily have to be in a car to be at risk from such motorists. If you are riding a bike or traveling on foot, a distracted driver might hit you, resulting in severe, even life-threatening injuries.
Additional forms of distraction that place you at risk on Florida roadways
It is clear that drivers who eat or drink at the wheel are placing you at risk when you travel in Florida. In addition to this dangerous distraction, texting or using navigation devices are also big risk factors. It is against the law, in Florida, to use a cell phone while driving.
A person who does so might face criminal charges. If a distracted driver hits you after using a cell phone at the wheel, you can seek restitution through the civil justice system.