orange line orange line

Distracted Driving Accidents


We Handle Distracted Driving Accident Claims in Fort Lauderdale and Throughout Florida

Distracted driving has always been a problem, but it seems to have gotten worse over the years since there are so many new ways for people to get distracted in their vehicles. According to data cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400,000 people are hurt in distracted driving crashes each year. No matter the nature of the distraction, driving while distracted is a danger to the driver and everyone else who is on the road with them. Distracted driving is particularly frustrating because it is an easily avoidable behavior: there is no reason for anyone to be that irresponsible. Distracted driving is dangerous driving.

At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our Fort Lauderdale distracted driving accident lawyers are skilled, aggressive, and effective advocates for victims and families. We go above and beyond to help our clients get real justice. If someone gets into an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, then they are entitled to receive compensation from the insurance company of the distracted driver to cover any losses they suffered because of the accident, potentially including vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our legal team today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a top-rated car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.


What is Distracted Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that distracted driving takes many forms. It is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” Distracted driving is an extremely dangerous—possibly even deadly—behavior that contributes to traffic accidents. There are three different types of distraction that drivers can engage in while they are behind the wheel, all of which are bad for various reasons:

  • Manual Distractions – These are the types of distractions that cause the driver to take their hands off the wheel. This includes things like eating, drinking, or grooming themselves while driving. Manual distractions are dangerous because the driver cannot react to obstacles or changes in road conditions if their hands are off the wheel.
  • Visual Distractions – With these distractions, the driver’s vision is taken off the road ahead. It is easy to see why this is dangerous since there is no way for the driver to react to what is happening ahead of them if they cannot see it. Even if the vehicle has advanced safety systems to help drivers, such as emergency braking or lane-keeping assist, the driver still has a responsibility to pay attention to the road and other drivers.
  • Cognitive Distractions – These types of distractions take the driver’s mind off the task of driving or paying attention to the road. They are dangerous because they slow down the driver’s reaction time, which means that they may not be able to respond quickly to sudden changes in the road, such as a vehicle ahead of them suddenly slowing down.


How Common is Distracted Driving in the United States? (An Overview of the Statistics)

Distracted driving is very common. Indeed, most people have driven while distracted. Academic research cited by Study Finds estimates that 99.7% of licensed U.S. drivers have driven while distracted. Of course, not all forms of distracted driving are equally at risk. Taking a few seconds to play with the car radio is not nearly as dangerous as carrying on a conversation via text message while driving. According to the official data, as cited by the National Safety Council (NSC), 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2020 alone. Hundreds of thousands more were injured. Alarmingly, most highway safety experts believe that the true extent of the problem is even worse because distracted driving is underreported.

Examples of Distracted Driving

While distractions for drivers are divided into three broad categories—manual, visual, and cognitive—distracted driving can take a wide range of different forms. Here are some of the most common examples of distracted driving in Florida:

  • Cell phone use: talking, texting, or browsing the web on a cell phone;
  • Eating or drinking while driving;
  • Adjusting the car’s stereo, navigation system, or climate controls;
  • Applying makeup or grooming while driving;
  • Reading, including maps or other printed materials;
  • Using a tablet, laptop, or another handheld device while driving;
  • Watching videos or taking photos while driving; and
  • Talking to passengers or attending to children in the back seat.
  • Wearing headphones while driving

Five Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving

One of the most important things to remember about distracted driving is that it is extremely dangerous. Whatever the distraction is—it can wait. If there is a true emergency, a driver should always pull over. Here are five tips to help you avoid distracted driving:

  • Plan Ahead: Prepare for your trip by adjusting your seat, mirrors, and music and inputting GPS directions before you start driving.
  • Put Away Your Phone: The phone is the primary distraction risk. Keep your phone out of reach and silence it before starting to drive.
  • Eat Before or After: Eating while driving a car is far more dangerous than many people realize. If you need a meal, park your vehicle.
  • Beware of Conversations With Passengers: There is nothing wrong with talking to your passengers, but be careful about getting too focused on the conversation.
  • Get Rest and Take Breaks: Fatigued drivers are more susceptible to distractions. If you feel drowsy or overly distracted, take a break and find a safe place to pull over and rest.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.

The Law for Distracted Driving in Florida

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) explains that the state has a “Put It Down: Focus On Driving” initiative in place. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 316.305), there is a ban on texting while driving. A police officer can pull a motorist over an issue of a citation for texting and driving. Additionally, motorists have a general duty to operate in a safe manner. A distracted driver could even face a reckless driving charge if they cause a serious accident. Reckless driving is a criminal offense. Distracted drivers can be held civilly liable for injuries sustained by other people because of their negligence.

Penalties for Distracted Driving in Florida

The main consequence of distracted driving is that it can end up causing a serious crash. However, despite the perniciousness and pervasiveness of distracted driving, there are relatively few direct legal repercussions for most forms of distracted driving. Texting and driving is a notable exception. In Florida, the penalties for texting while driving include fines and points on the driver’s license.

If a distracted driver causes an accident, then one of the concerns is how to prove that the driver was distracted. When it comes to texting while driving, phone records can prove that they were using the phone at the time of the accident. However, an attorney will be needed to get the data from the electronic trail left behind by the distracted driver. In the case of other types of distractions, it can be more difficult to find evidence. Traffic cameras and other surveillance footage can show what the driver was doing before the accident occurred. The police can also search the vehicle to find evidence of any distractions as well as find anyone who witnessed the driver exhibiting distracting behavior.

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Today

A distracted driver is a danger to everyone on the road, which is why anyone who has been in an accident caused by a distracted driver needs to be compensated. However, that compensation can often be hard to come by without the aid of an attorney. At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, we have the professional experience and proven record of success to handle these claims. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers are standing by, ready to help you seek justice and compensation. If you or your family member was hurt in a crash with a distracted driver, we are here as a legal resource. Contact us today to set up a free, no strings attached initial consultation.

orange line orange line

Latest Articles

Image for How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer post

calender November 16, 2023

How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Car crashes happen. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that ...

Image for Meet Robin Rios: BK’s Modern-Day Robin Hood post

calender October 25, 2023

Meet Robin Rios: BK’s Modern-Day Robin Hood

Once upon a time, there was a boy who thought he wanted to be a ...

Image for Look Out, Nashville! Jesse Bernheim and Greg Marangos Have Arrived to Rock the Legal World post


Look Out, Nashville! Jesse Bernheim and Greg Marangos Have Arrived to Rock the Legal World

We are proud to announce that BK Law is now in Tennessee! Leading the charge ...

Civil Trial Badge
American Board of Trial Advocates Badge
National Board trial Advocacy Badge
AV Badge
Super Lawyer Badge
Million Dollar Advocates Forum Badge
National Trial Lawyers Badge
Florida Justice Badge
American Association for Justice Badge
Massachusetts Bar Association Badge