Distracted driving has been around as long as driving itself, but evidence suggests it has gotten steadily worse. In fact, distracted driving has become a problem of plague proportions.
Records collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) reveal that nearly 40,000 Americans are killed every year, with about 16% of those caused by distracted driving. To put that into raw figures it means that 6,000 odd Americans die every year on the roads because of distracted driving. Just as scary are the figures for car crashes. Taking the 16% figure and extrapolating it to the number of annual car crashes, it means that a million crashes every year are now due to distracted driving.
It’s not easy determining the cause of a car crash when it has been caused by someone distracted by their GPS or a text message. It’s a lot easier working out that someone was drunk when they caused a crash, or they failed to stop at a red light, or they were traveling too fast for the conditions. It’s often a case of elimination. If nothing else seemed to have caused a crash, then perhaps it was due to distracted driving.
Driving has always had its distractions. Before there were GPS systems there were maps and map books. It could be argued that peering at a map on a driver’s lap while negotiating traffic was probably more dangerous than using a modern GPS system. Eating and drinking has also been a common cause of distracted driving. So, what’s driven the increase lately?
The answer to that question is purely hypothetical as there is no hard data to give us any real clues. The most likely suspect is modern communication and the drive to keep connected at all times. The combination of social media, jobs that no longer end when people leave their place of employment and the means to communicate just about everywhere, is a deadly cocktail. Some people think that the steady increase in the number of people on the move getting take-out food from fast food eateries makes it more likely that drivers are munching on burgers or other snack food while driving.
Added to that is the fact that many people tend to think that distracted driving is not as socially ‘wrong’ as many of the other causes of crashes: intoxication, speeding, aggressive driving, taking chances when overtaking and running a red light. It’s a scary sight watching a bus or taxi driver making a phone call or texting someone on their cell phone while you are in the same vehicle as them, but how many times do we all do it ourselves?
Defending a distracted driving charge
Distracted driving may have become a serious problem, but it doesn’t mean you have to get a ticket for something you didn’t do. Sometimes, a police officer may try and pin a distracted driving charge on you without sufficient proof. In Florida, using your mobile device for texting is now illegal and a traffic cop can pull you over if s/he sees you and give you a citation. A conviction would men points, a fine and court fees if you fight the ticket and lose. Starting January next year, use of a mobile device in a school or construction zone would attract more severe penalties. If use of the device or other distraction caused an accident in which someone was injured or dies, then this could be regarded as reckless driving, which is a criminal offense. You are advised to fight a citation as the chances of winning are good if you hire a ticket lawyer. If you are facing a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, then you will certainly want to not have a criminal conviction hanging over your head. Contact experienced and dedicated Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes, Esq. You can contact his law firm at 305-644-1800. It’s just two blocks west of the Miami Marlins ball park at 1815 NW 7th St., Miami, FL 33125.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.