According to a study released earlier this year, Florida ranked second behind Louisiana as the worst state in the nation in terms of the frequency of distracted driving.
The company behind the EverDrive motion-sensing app gathered the data, looking at rates of speeding, aggressive turning, sudden acceleration, hard braking and various other movements while drivers were using their phones. The study used a points system for each occurrence. It did not, however, measure incidental movements, such as when the phone is in sleep mode or being used as a hands-free device.
According to EverQuote Inc., approximately 92 percent of drivers across the United States who have cell phones have used them while in a moving vehicle within the prior 30 days. The EverDrive app logged approximately 2.7 million trips and 230 miles driven in total. Florida scored second-worst for distracted driving based on the app’s point system.
The results were unsurprising to some state officials. Florida is one of just five states in the nation in which police officers cannot pull over a driver if they see the person texting while driving. In every other state except Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska and South Dakota, texting while driving is a primary offense.
An increasing concern statewide
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were approximately 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in 2016. This amounts to more than five crashes per hour. However, these statistics could be too low, as many drivers do not want to report they were using their phones when a crash occurred.
Distracted drivers are liable for accidents they cause. For more information on what you should do after a serious crash, speak with a dedicated Florida personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.