Paying attention when behind the wheel of a car is something everyone knows they are supposed to do, but many people fail to do — whether purposely or unintentionally. In Florida, distracted drivers are the cause of numerous car accidents every year. If you’ve suffered injuries in an auto collision caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses through legal means as distracted driving is negligent driving.
Duty of Care
The moment you take the driver’s seat and head out on the road, you have a duty of care to those with whom you share the road, as do they. Every driver must be safe, exercise caution and obey the rules of the road. Distracted driving prevents a driver from adequately performing this duty.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving comes in many forms, namely visual, manual, auditory and cognitive. A visual distraction is anything that causes a driver to look at it rather than the road — such as scenery, other passengers, text messages and maps. A manual distraction is anything a driver is touching other than the steering wheel — such as a cellphone, in-car electronics and food. An auditory distraction is anything a driver is listening to that is unrelated to driving — such as music, other passengers and phone calls. Finally, a cognitive distraction is when a driver’s mental focus is on something other than the road — such as thinking about work or family stresses.
Distracted drivers are not always first to admit they were not paying attention, though in many accident cases, it is obvious that distraction was the cause. If fault is easily established, seeking fair compensation from the responsible party’s insurance provider without having to go to court may be possible — in fact, it is in most cases. If liability is questioned and achieving maximum relief through out-of-court negotiations prove’s impossible, litigating the matter in a Florida civil court may be appropriate. Legal counsel may be able to help you decide the best course of action for your specific circumstances and assist you in seeking fair compensation for your losses.