Most people in Florida probably equate distracted driving with texting while driving. Texting and driving is a major type of distraction, but it is not the only problematic activity in which drivers engage with their smartphones. Using social media applications has emerged as another major issue when people are behind the wheels of their vehicles.
Drivers use many different types of social media applications, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram. Since the release of Pokemon Go, some accidents have reportedly been caused by drivers who were playing the game, including a man who crashed into a parked police car in Baltimore.
Two surveys demonstrate how prevalent the driving behavior is. Liberty Mutual surveyed 2,500 high school students, finding that almost 70 percent admitted to using apps while they were driving. In another study conducted by the National Safety Council, 2,400 drivers of all ages were surveyed about their use of social media apps while driving. Of the participants, 74 percent indicated that they would use Facebook and 37 percent said they would use Twitter while behind the wheel.
Texting and driving remains as a major cause of car accidents, but other activities can be equally distracting. Drivers owe a duty to others on the road to keep their eyes and attention on the road around them. When a driver negligently allows his or her attention to be distracted away from driving and causes an injury accident, the victims may want to consider filing personal injury lawsuits with the assistance of attorneys. Through such lawsuits, the plaintiffs may be able to hold the negligent driver liable for his or her actions. This might allow the plaintiffs to recover damages that might compensate them for the losses that were caused by their injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages and other amounts.