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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Tampa Distracted Driving Lawyer

Statistics show how devices and bad habits affect highway safety

Driving is an activity that requires our full attention. Yet, because it’s something we do every day, we can get lax about safety and engage in risky behavior. At The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., we’ve seen up close the consequences of distracted driving: severe collisions and shattered lives. Although we can never fully remove human error from the traffic safety equation, we can each do our part to eliminate distractive activity and avoid unnecessary pain and suffering, contact our experienced Tampa distracted driving lawyers today.

Our Attorneys Define Distracted Driving

Many people think that distracted driving refers to texting and driving. While using a cell phone while behind the wheel is certainly one form of distracted driving, it is not the only distraction drivers face behind the wheel.

Distracted driving is defined as any activity that:

  • Takes the driver’s hands off the wheel
  • Takes the driver’s eyes off the road
  • Takes the driver’s focus off of their surroundings

Some of the most common forms of distracted driving include:

  • Eating and drinking behind the wheel
  • Grooming behind the wheel
  • Changing the radio station
  • Looking at a GPS
  • Talking to passengers
  • Controlling an unrestrained pet
  • ‘Rubbernecking’ car accidents as a person drives by
  • Daydreaming

All of the above actions are considered negligent due to the fact that a driver is no longer paying full attention to the road, and the innocent bystanders, around them.

Eliminating common distractions of Florida roadways

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounts for approximately 10 percent of fatal auto accidents and 17 percent of all injury accidents. Distractive behavior that invites an accident includes:

  • Adjusting audio equipment
  • Cell phone use
  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Focusing on outside distractions
  • Grooming
  • Adjusting audio equipment
  • Cell phone use
  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Focusing on outside distractions
  • Grooming

Texting while driving requires a motorist to take attention away from the road for a minimum of 5 seconds on average, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph. You wouldn’t dare do that blindfolded, so why do it without looking up?

What are the laws governing cell phone use in Florida?

Florida is not one of the many states that have limited cell phone use while driving. However, the state does urge drivers to use their cell phones prudently. At The Matassini Law Firm, we recommend that you:

  • Make safety your first priority — Never use your phone without being aware of its potential for distracting your driving. Although no driving scenario is ever without risk, higher speed and higher volume traffic scenarios require your undivided attention.
  • Plan ahead — If you know you might be getting a call, put your earbuds in place and have the phone within easy reach to answer.
  • Use a hands-free device — Although you must be mindful that the conversation itself is potentially distracting, having to hold and operate your phone with one hand prevents you from steering with both hands and can tempt you to take your eyes off the road.
  • Dial smart — Smartphones with voice activation allow you to call someone without searching through your contacts.
  • Limit your time on the phone — Exchange essential information then hang up. Don’t get engrossed in the conversation; the longer you’re on the phone, the more your mind will drift from the task of driving.
  • Pull over — If the conversation becomes emotionally charged, get out of traffic to a place where you can safely stop and talk.

Our Tampa Distracted Driving Attorney Can Prove Your Claim

You have a lot to think about after an accident caused by a distracted driver but at some point during the claims process, you will likely wonder how you can prove your claim. After all, proving a driver acted negligently in any car crash is challenging, but it often seems as though proving a driver was distracted is even more difficult.

If a driver was texting at the time of your crash, a Tampa distracted driving attorney will collect evidence to prove that fact. This evidence could include statements from eyewitnesses, or a record of the driver’s cell phone records obtained through a subpoena. This is one reason it is so important to work with a lawyer after a wreck, as they can gather this evidence while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Even if the evidence does not show a driver was distracted at the time of the crash, they still likely acted negligently and caused your crash. For example, a driver that was eating may have looked down at a spill on their lap, causing a crash when they took their eyes off the road. Video surveillance and other evidence may show the driver swerving out of their lane as they took their eyes off the road, or otherwise acting negligently.

Call our Tampa attorneys to discuss your distracted driving accident

If a distracted driver injured you or a loved one, The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. is ready to provide capable and compassionate legal assistance. Our Tampa distracted driving lawyers offer a free initial confidential conference. Call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

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