Some Florida drivers may be aware that, after decades of declining rates of car accident fatalities, the numbers have suddenly surged within the last few years. In fact, in 2016, more than 100 people died every day as a result of a car accident. Although regulators do not have any ideas as to why car accident deaths are on the rise once again, there are signs that it could be due to smartphone use.
Between 2014 and 2016, the number of American drivers who owned a smartphone rose from 75 percent to 81 percent. The way in which smartphones are commonly used has also changed; instead of talking on their phones while driving, many Americans text or use their social media continuously throughout the day, even when driving. Further, there have been major increases in the fatality rates of bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. All three of these groups of individuals are easy to miss when drivers keep glancing up from their smartphones.
While safety regulators and law enforcement agencies are fully aware that taking or making phone calls while driving is dangerous, it is not known just how dangerous. This is due to the fact that the data is not easy to collect, especially as the way in which smartphones are used continues to change. For example, 2015 accident data shows that only 448 deaths, or 1.4 percent of all fatalities, were attributed to cellphone use.
Car accidents caused by distracted drivers are often very serious due to the fact that distracted drivers are often not able to react. This means that speed is also often a factor. If a person suffers serious or even life-threatening injuries in a crash caused by a distracted driver, that person may have the grounds to file a personal injury claim. An attorney may assist with gathering evidence that proves liability and may help seek compensation for damages.