As important as smartphones are in today’s society, they can also be a menace. Too many people are so engrossed with texting and talking that they’re oblivious to everything around them. even when they’re behind the wheel. Pedestrians often bear the brunt of that negligence. And they can suffer horrible injuries as a result.
Florida is already a dangerous state for pedestrians. When you add distracted drivers to the mix, the dangers can get exponentially worse. If you have suffered a severe injury after being struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be ready to help.
Distracted Driving Statistics
The risks of distracted driving can’t be overstated. More than 3,000 people needlessly lost their lives in 2020 because of this dangerous behavior. As bad as talking on a phone while driving is, texting is even worse. That’s because it takes a driver’s eyes completely off of the road. When this happens for as little as five seconds at 55 miles an hour, a car can travel 100 yards. Try driving that far with a blindfold over your eyes. it’s basically the same thing.
It’s impossible to be a safe driver when the act of driving doesn’t have a motorist’s full attention. When this happens, and a pedestrian is in the path of a vehicle, the results can be horrific.
Distracted Drivers are a Risk for Everyone on the Road
While smartphone use behind the wheel is the biggest culprit when it comes to distracted driving. There are other types of distractions as well. Drivers can be distracted by talking to a passenger or listening to music. They can try to navigate eating a meal and controlling a steering wheel at the same time. Or, their mind might simply wander, causing them to lose focus.
Whatever the cause, you could argue that distracted driving is as dangerous as speeding or even driving while impaired. It makes it nearly impossible to respond to sudden emergency situations. And to react properly when someone is crossing the road on foot.
How Pedestrians Can Stay Safe on the Roads in Florida
Pedestrians also have to follow the law when they’re on or near any sort of road. While driver negligence is often the cause of a pedestrian accident, there are times where a pedestrian’s negligence can result in a collision.
If you follow these tips, however, that can greatly reduce the chances that you’ll ever be involved in this type of terrible situation.
- Only cross the road in designated areas. The crosswalk is the safest possible place to cross a street. It’s there to show drivers that a pedestrian may be present, so this is the most likely place a motorist will be on the lookout. If you try to cross in any other part of a road, the driver will probably not be able to see you – especially if they’re already distracted.
- Assume you can’t be seen. Even if you are crossing in the proper spot, never take it for granted that oncoming cars will stop for you. Always be wary when there are any vehicles in the general vicinity, and be prepared to step back to safety if you have any reason whatsoever to believe you’re in danger.
- Beware of stopped vehicles. When a vehicle stops to allow you to cross the street, don’t assume that other nearby cars will do the same thing. Always look around the stopped vehicle before progressing to make sure no others are coming toward you.
What to do if You’re Hit by a Distracted Driver
If you are ever hit by a motorist, call for medical attention immediately. Next, call the police immediately so that an officer can arrive and file a police report. As you’ll soon learn, this could be a powerful piece of evidence to support your case. Take pictures of the accident scene, as well as your injury and the car that hit you. If anyone saw the accident, try to obtain their name and phone number.
Of course, trying to take care of all of this could very well be too much to ask from someone who’s just been hit by a machine that weighs 4,000 pounds or more. However, the more evidence you can gather at the scene, the better the chances you’ll obtain the compensation you deserve.
Many accident victims assume they should start an insurance claim as soon as they can. But this might not be the best idea. Talk to an attorney instead. They can speak to the insurance company on your behalf, shielding you from any attempt to try to talk you into accepting less than fair compensation.
How to Prove a Driver was Distracted
Your attorney can also work to prove the driver who hit you was distracted at the time of the accident. One way to do what will be to obtain the police report. When an injury occurs in an accident, the police will investigate to determine the cause. If the officer finds you were struck due to the motorist being distracted, that will greatly help your case.
An attorney might also be able to subpoena phone records to show that the negligent motorist was talking or texting at the precise moment the accident took place. While this can also be a powerful piece of evidence, it can, in some instances, take a long time to obtain.
There’s a pretty good chance that a nearby camera captured footage of the accident. Your legal representative could request that footage, making your case even stronger.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney ASAP After Your Accident
Hiring an attorney will be your best chance at obtaining the money you have coming to you. At The Eberst Law Firm, we can perform a detailed investigation into the accident and uncover the evidence needed to prove that the driver who hit you was distracted.
If you would like to speak to someone with our firm, please call 1-888-CALL-JON or use our online form to schedule a free case review.