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Summer driving, teens and distraction make for a dangerous mix

After two years of people in Florida and across the nation being limited in the number of activities they could take part in, the summer of 2022 is expected to be comparable to what it was in the past. That means people will be visiting Florida, traveling to various beaches and leisure activities, and generally trying to have a good time.

Most of the miles traveled will be done by automobile. The combination of more people being on the road, more teens being on the road, summer travel and the penchant for people to take part in dangerous activities like distracted driving is stoking fear of a spike in auto accidents. Being aware of trends and statistics is important to try and avoid a collision. It is also vital to be aware of what can be done after an accident has occurred.

Florida law enforcement sounds the alarm on distracted driving

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) recently embarked on a campaign to educate drivers on the inherent dangers of distracted driving. According to statistics, the Sunshine State has more than 1,000 accidents due to distracted driving each week. Across the state, the number of distracted driving accidents between 2014 and 2021 increased by one-third. This is generally blamed on cellphone use, but it also just a matter of drivers not watching where they are going.

FHP wants drivers to remember that they need to use all their senses when operating a motor vehicle and multitasking places them, their passengers and others on the road at risk. The problem continues even though drivers are not subject to citations for distracted driving. The Wireless Communications While Driving Law passed in July 2019. Still, there is a need to continually tell drivers not to be distracted when they are behind the wheel. Florida had nearly 56,500 accidents due to distracted driving in 2021. More than 300 people died and more than 2,700 people were injured.

The “100 Deadliest Days” is another concern

Along with distracted drivers, the summer is frequently referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” due to the annual spike in auto accidents from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Teens are known to be a major risk on the road in general due to their lack of experience, tendency to be reckless and distracted driving. People age 16 to 17 have triple the chance of being in a fatal accident for every mile they drive when compared to older people.

Florida averages 38 fatal accidents involving teens during those months. On an annual basis, there are 160 fatalities in accidents with teen drivers. Thirty-six percent happen in those 100 days. In the last decade, nearly 1,600 people were killed in an accident with a teen.

After an accident, it is important to understand the cause when weighing options

People on the road can spot distracted drivers if they are watching their movements when they are behind the wheel. If they are looking down or obviously manipulating a handheld object with their hands while they try to drive, it is a good bet that they are texting and driving, checking social media, reading emails and taking part in other phone-related activities. Of course, it is preferable to steer clear of them to keep from being in a collision, but if the vehicle is traveling at significant speed or there is a sudden move like swerving into the other lanes, auto accidents might be unavoidable.

People who are simply looking forward to a relatively normal summer with their family could suddenly be impacted in multiple ways by an auto accident. This can lead to massive medical expenses, problems with getting back to work, long-term injuries and even death. It is important to understand how to maximize a claim to cover for all that was lost. Also crucial is having help from those who can communicate with everyone fluently. That includes Spanish-speaking clients.