Some information from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles would indicate that there is a rising problem of car accidents throughout the state. Some counties have seen greater rises than others. For example, as of mid-November 2014, Polk County law enforcement officials had reported 7,820 car accidents, which projects to approximately 9,060 crashes for the entire year. This would mark a 6 percent increase over 2013 and a shocking 77 percent increase since 2011.
While the number of people killed in traffic accidents has not risen as the same rate as total traffic accidents in general, this may be more a result of good fortune than anything else. As the rate of accidents increases, so does the potential for fatalities.
Experts who see the gigantic spike in accidents since 2011 see one factor as the largest reason for the increase — texting while driving. With more people than ever before having mobile devices, and with those devices now being used as internet browsing machines and social media hubs in addition to phone calls and texting, the temptation is greater than ever before for drivers to use their phones while behind the wheel. However, basically all existing research indicates that drivers distracted by their phones are far more likely to get into accidents and cause serious injuries or deaths.
As of 2013, it is illegal throughout the state of Florida to text, email, instant message or engage in any other similar tasks on a phone or handheld communications device while behind the wheel. Yet it is still an extremely pervasive problem, one that continues to be a major factor in increasing accident numbers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the skilled Bradenton car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh for the legal guidance you need and deserve.