Distracted driving is one of the major problems seen on Florida’s roads. Unfortunately, some people feel confident driving when they should not be, such as when they’re sending texts or putting an address into a GPS unit.
Although most people think about distracted driving as texting behind the wheel, distracted driving can be any task that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. That may include something like eating a sandwich on the way to college, texting a friend that they’ll arrive soon or even changing a radio station while looking away from the road.
How does Florida deal with distracted driving?
Florida has the Put It Down campaign, which focuses on understanding distracted driving behaviors, recognizing the risks, taking steps to eliminate distracted driving and helping the community keep itself and others safe based on Florida’s traffic laws.
One of the interesting things that is available in the state is the inclusion of Safe Phone Zones. The state has put up signage that shows drivers where they can pull over to send messages, take phone calls or use their mobile apps.
How dangerous is distracted driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last released a summary of its findings for Florida in 2017. That year, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions that involved distracted drivers. It also found that around six percent of the drivers who were involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the collision.
What can you do to help yourself avoid a crash with a distracted driver?
One of the best things you can do is put away your own distractions and pay attention to what’s going on around you. You may be able to maneuver to avoid a crash if you’re paying close attention to what others are doing and notice that they are looking away or approaching a center line. You might be able to react fast enough to stop before rear-ending another person or swerve to avoid someone who has gone out of their lane.
Distractions will always be a problem. It’s how you approach them yourself that can make the biggest difference in your safety.