Law enforcement officials have recently seen an uptick in distracted driving accidents across the entire Tampa Bay region. As a result, they are warning drivers to stay attentive behind the wheel or risk significant penalties.
One of the most recent accidents involving a distracted driver occurred Sunday, September 11, when a two-year-old child suffered critical injuries and four other people were also taken to the hospital. The four-vehicle crash reportedly happened because a 23-year-old woman took her eyes off the road — presumably to look at her phone — and did not see vehicles ahead of her stopping at a red light. Instead, she plowed through, setting off a chain-reaction accident.
Distracted driving a major concern
The rise in people who have and regularly use smartphones has contributed to a corresponding increase in distracted driving. People who regularly use their devices while operating their vehicles either do not know or do not care about just how easy it is for a serious car accident to occur.
A representative from the Clearwater Police Department highlighted this fact by saying that when someone is driving on a highway at 50 or 55 miles per hour, being distracted for just a couple of seconds means he or she is traveling a fairly significant distance without looking at the road. In that time, just about anything can occur, including a sudden hazard appearing in the road, a driver cutting you off, the car ahead of suddenly braking or a pedestrian attempting to cross at a crosswalk.
Police officers are growing increasingly frustrated with the prevalence of these types of crashes and urge drivers to avoid using these devices when their vehicles are in motion.
If you have been injured in an auto accident you believe was caused by distracted driving or another form of negligence, consult a knowledgeable Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.