Victims Push Legislators to Enact Distracted Driving Laws

A pregnant mother was killed in an accident 2 years ago — and that Collier County accident is still in the minds of many today.

The mother of the victim is now working to end distracted driving. According to NBC2, the accident happened as a driver, who was talking on a cell phone, drove right into the path of the expectant mother’s vehicle. That accident, and thousands more, are fueling the “Stay Alive, Just Drive” campaign. It’s been going on for more than 6 years now and it’s working to raise awareness and educate drivers about the risks associated with distracted driving.

“It’s been a roller coaster ever since the day my daughter was hit. I never thought I’d have to burry a child over something so preventable,” said the victim’s mother.

Our Naples car accident lawyers understand that there are a group of advocates, including the Collier County mother, meeting in the Tampa Bay area for this year’s Florida Distracted Driving Summit. This meeting is so important because Florida is one of the few states left that has yet to enact any kind of law to keep motorists off of their cell phones or any other kind of electronic device while in the driver’s seat.

The Collier County mother is one of three members on the victim panel that will be speaking to lawmakers and hundreds of others who are trying to get Florida to enact distracted driving laws.

According to the most recent studies, it takes about 4.5 seconds to send and receive a text message. When you log that time behind the wheel, traveling at about 55 miles per hour, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field without the driver ever looking at the road. That’s one sure way to increase your accident risks. It’s like driving while blindfolded.

Distracted driving might be a bigger problem than many think. You might assume it can’t happen to you, but the truth of the matter is that we’re all in danger — even if we’re not driving. According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving accidents took the lives of more than 3,000 people in 2010. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 420,000 injuries resulting from these kinds of accidents. In fact, these accidents account for about 20 percent of all of the reported injury crashes throughout the year.

Don’t think these risks apply to you?

Drivers who use a hand-held device are 4 times more likely to get into an accident that causes serious injuries. Drivers who text message behind the wheel are actually close to 25 percent more likely to get into an accident that causes serious injuries.

And the solution to this problem is actually quite simple. Hang up. Text later. Pay attention.

There’s never a reason for a driver to take their eyes off of the road. If you’ve got something to do that requires your attention, pull over, stop and complete the action. The driver’s seat is for driving, not for multitasking.