As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, wreaking havoc on our daily lives and well-being, we face unprecedented stress and anxiety. We seem to be in a shared constant state of fear, wondering how many new cases have been reported in the U.S., in Florida, in our county; how many deaths have occurred; are our families safe; do we have the food and supplies we need to get through the next few weeks; and ultimately, will we ever get back to “normal” again.
As we rush to get the food and supplies we need, many of us are distracted by our anxiety and desperation and not paying close attention to our driving. Under normal circumstances, we know that you can’t drive safely without being fully focused on the task of driving. However, these are not normal circumstances, and most of us are not as focused as we used to be.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that any non-driving activity you engage in while behind the wheel increases your risk of crashing. This includes talking to passengers, searching for radio stations, turning up the air conditioning, using your phone or vehicle’s navigation system, eating, drinking and merely thinking about something other than driving. Talking or texting on your phone is especially dangerous, since you typically take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds in order to call or text someone.
When you are distracted, you may speed without realizing it, forget to stop at stop signs or stop lights, and be unaware of vehicles stopping or changing lanes in front of you. All of these driving behaviors are dangerous, especially at high speeds. In fact, on average, distracted driving causes 2.5 million crashes per year and 9 deaths per day in the U.S.
Staying Safe on Florida’s Roads
During this stressful time, it’s especially important to think clearly and drive carefully. That means making sure you are concentrating on your driving when you are behind the wheel and not taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task of driving.
If possible, try to make sure you are doing essential driving at a time when you feel clear-headed and focused. Make necessary phone calls and send necessary texts before you get in your car. Adjust your car temperature, check your navigation system, and tune your radio while still parked. Plan where you are going and give yourself plenty of time to get there, complete your errand, and get home without speeding.
Finally, during the current health crisis, try to avoid all non-essential driving. Florida is now under a stay-at-home order, so driving should be limited to the essentials. Grocery shopping, getting medical supplies or medical care, and going through the drive-thru at a bank are fine, but just about everything else can wait or can be done online.
If You’re Injured in a Car Accident in Florida
There is never a good time to be involved in a car accident, but being injured and requiring emergency medical care during the current health crisis is especially frightening.
Please be very careful when driving, and know that if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, the Miami car accident attorneys at Boyers Law are committed to helping you hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Klas, M.E. (2020, April 1). Gov. DeSantis issues stay-home order limiting Florida to essential services for April. Miami Herald.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving.