Yes, you read that correctly. On any given day, crashes involving distracted drivers take the lives of eight Americans. At least that’s what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. If you multiply that number by the 365 days that make up a year, that’s an estimated 2,920 people each year.
That might make you wonder how many of those people died on the roads that pass through Fort Walton Beach, Destin and other beach towns in Florida’s panhandle.
Do you know the dangers of texting while driving?
Texting allows you to keep in touch with people in real time. You can make plans, get directions and see whether you need to stop at the store on the way home. After all, it only takes a few seconds to read or answer a text. If you aren’t driving, that’s great!
However, while you drive, those few seconds — five to be exact — that your mind, eyes and hands aren’t on the road add up to a distance of approximately a football field at 55 mph, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Anything could happen in that distance, and if you aren’t paying attention, a serious or deadly crash could result.
Texting isn’t the only distraction that kills
Texting isn’t the only action that takes a driver’s attention off the road. Anything could steal your attention from the task at hand, but the list below reflects some of the most common distractions:
- Changing the music
- Eating or drinking
- Looking for your phone
- Putting on makeup or shaving
- Looking at a map or GPS
- Checking email
- Posting on social media
- Taking a picture
- Talking to passengers
The popularity of Fort Walton Beach, Destin and other beach towns means a lot of tourists drive through the area. They often take their eyes off the road to look out over the ocean or at other sites as they travel scenic Highway 98.
When your family is affected
You and your family might have chosen to vacation in the beauty of Florida’s panhandle and its white, sandy beaches only to suffer an impossible loss because another driver failed to pay attention while driving. Losing a loved one suddenly and violently to a distracted driving accident leaves an unfillable hole in your family.
It also often leaves a hole in your finances. Extra expenses associated with your loss add up quickly and place an unexpected burden on your resources. If a distracted driver stole your loved one from you, a wrongful death claim might at least compensate you monetarily.
You could attempt to file such a claim on your own, but you might not receive all that could rightfully be yours. You need time to adjust to your loss and don’t need to bear the quest for damages alone. A Florida motor vehicle accident attorney could gather the evidence of the other driver’s negligence, present it to the court and request damages on your behalf.