Car crash
Distracted driving accounts for 9 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries every day
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (UPDATED post: Distracted Driving a Serious Problem). The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is collaborating with the state police, highway patrols and local law enforcement jurisdictions of every on the Eastern Seaboard to promote traffic safety in an effort to keep one of the nation’s major interstate corridors safe and fatality-free.

The I-95 Drive to Save Lives safety and enforcement initiative takes place April 20 through 21 with law enforcement agencies in each state conducting enforcement details on I-95.

“The Florida Highway Patrol, along with the many law enforcement agencies along the I-95 corridor, are committed public safety,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “The I-95 Drive to Save Lives initiative will help reduce traffic crashes and save lives along one of our country’s busiest highways.”

This initiative’s operational goal is to provide highly visible law enforcement presence across the approximate 1,920 miles of the Interstate 95 corridor to reduce traffic deaths and injuries across the U.S. In support of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Drive to Save Lives initiative, FHP will place emphasis on changing high-risk behaviors of motorists, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, commercial vehicle safety and buckling up.

In conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, FHP reminds everyone to Focus on Driving, to Arrive Alive.

According to a study authored by Maria Heart of the Cogburn Law Offices titled Distracted Driving Statistics, between 2005 and 2017 NHTSA data places the number of people killed as a result of distracted driving accidents at 53,714. The study defines distracted driving as any act of driving while engaging in any other activities. This includes any act that is taking your attention away from the road, even if only for a few short seconds.

As high as that number is, however, Heart says crashes involving fatalities “are only a small fraction of total distracted driving accidents.” More than 50,000 crashes were caused by distracted drivers in Florida in the year 2017 alone, resulting in 220 fatalities and 3,000 serious bodily injuries– and every day “approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in auto crashes involving a distracted driver. (cdc, 2017)”

The numbers are shocking, but perhaps even more astounding is the observation made by the Cogburn study: “Even though the risks are clear, a recent survey found that a whopping 88% still use cell phones while driving.” Given the public’s penchant for the ever-present smartphone technology, awareness of the danger may not be enough to curb texting while driving down the road. While large majorities of drivers say they support laws against holding or talking on a phone, reading, typing, or texting/emailing while driving, the study notes that “at least once in the past 30 days:

  • 52.1% admitted to talking on a phone while driving.
  • 41.3% admitted to reading a text/email.
  • 32.1% admitted to typing a text/email

Click here to read the study in its entirety. It is detailed, informative and packed with research-based facts and statistics– including visuals like charts and graphs

SimpleDollar.com has also published an informative, practical guide that takes a sharp look at just how much your ticket for distracted driving will actually cost you.  Download it at www.thesimpledollar.com/.  

Driving distracted can not only hurt you and your passengers, but can greatly influence the behavior of others, especially young, impressionable drivers.

Motorists can dial *FHP (*347) from a cell phone to contact FHP to report an aggressive or impaired driver or to request roadside assistance.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow on Twitter @FLHSMV or like on Facebook.