The epidemic of distracted driving is putting drivers in Florida and throughout the country at risk. Safety officials are making a concerted effort to get people to put their phones away while driving. There is good reason for this focus on distracted driving as estimates find that more than a quarter of all collisions stem from cell phone use. That number does not account for all the other distracted behaviors drivers engage in when behind the wheel.
Are Tampa Bay drivers getting into car accidents as a result of distracted driving? According to a study reported in the Sun Sentinel, Florida was recently ranked as the second-worst state when it comes to distracted driving accidents, meaning more accidents happen on Florida's roads and highways as a result of preventable distractions than in all but one other state (Louisiana). The study was conducted by a motion-sensing app called EverDrive, and it determined that Florida drivers often text and drive, or talk on a cell phone while driving, at rates that exceed drivers in other states.
While most people are not surprised by the concept that teens engage in risky behaviors, they might not be aware of the scientific research that backs up this claim. According to a recent study, teens in countries across the world showed risky behavior that peaked until they reached the age of 23 or 24. Unfortunately, this behavior includes teens driving more recklessly than their older counterparts, speeding, and letting themselves get more easily distracted.
Florida lawmakers want to take action when it comes to preventing car accidents. Yet according to a recent article in the Miami Herald, legislators are considering outlawing red light cameras throughout the state despite loudly voiced objections from officials in individual cities and counties. If lawmakers in our state want to curb the rate of auto accidents on Florida's roads, is removing red light cameras really the best decision? According to Sen. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, red light cameras have "essentially no safety benefit." To be sure, lawmakers believe that distracted driving and cellphone use behind the wheel are to blame for a majority of traffic collisions.