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Was Distracted Driving The Cause For Two Deadly Accidents Last Week?

It was a deadly Monday, here on Emerald Coast roadways, several weeks ago. There was a popular teacher at Mosley High School who recently retired that was killed in last Monday morning in a car wreck. The incident happened at about 8:15 a.m. on County 389 just east of the intersection with Delaware Avenue. The 63-year-old-male from Lynn Haven was traveling west on his bicycle on County 389 as was the driver of a truck, a 50-year-old male of Fountain. The retired school teacher attempted to make a left hand turn, crossing County 389, onto Delaware Avenue and was subsequently struck by the semi-truck. He was transported to Bay Medical Sacred Heart Hospital and later died from his injuries. The crash remains under investigation.

Later that same evening, a car accident occurred which left a 45-year-old man dead. It happened last Monday evening on State Road 83 at Spradlin Road around 2:10 p.m. The FHP’s preliminary investigation revealed a 72-year-old-male of DeFuniak Springs tried to make a left turn into the path of a 45-year-old male’s vehicle. The front of the 45-year-old’s vehicle hit the left front of the other vehicle. The 45-year-old male was pronounced dead on the scene. An investigation is ongoing into this case.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family of the deceased and injured in these horrible accidents.

It is our hope distracted driving did not have anything to do with either of these accidents. Distracted driving is defined by any mental or physical activity that takes the driver’s focus off the task of driving. The Florida crash report allows officers to report driver distraction in the following categories: distracted by electronic communication devices (cell phone, etc), other electronic devices (navigation device, DVD player), other distraction inside the vehicle, external distraction (outside the vehicle), texting or general inattentiveness.

According to

· In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

· As of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.(CTIA)

· Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. (NHTSA)

· Drivers in their 20s are 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of the distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)

· The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Since 2007, young drivers (age 16 to 24) have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers. (NHTSA)

· At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)

· A 2015 Erie Insurance distracted driving survey reported that drivers do all sorts of dangerous things behind the wheel including brushing teeth and changing clothes. The survey also found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters saying they’ve seen others do it.(ERIE INSURANCE)

· Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)

· Smartphone ownership is growing. In 2011, 52 percent of drivers reported owning a smartphone, and by 2014 that number had grown to 80 percent. The greatest increases in smartphone ownership are among adults age 40 and older. (STATE FARM)

· More than half (53%) of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. (PEW RESEARCH)

f you or a loved one was injured as a result of a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact us at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation at (850)659-2252 or through our website at




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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in car accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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