We all know it is never a good idea to text while driving, but distracted driving extends far beyond using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. Hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by distracted drivers each year, and the effects can be fatal.

A Devastating Crash

The Brooksville, FL, community is reeling after a three-year-old girl was struck and killed by a distracted driver on Friday, April 1, along with her mother and brother, who both remain in critical condition. The family was out for an afternoon walk when the driver, William Cameron Perkins (26), became distracted after dropping a cigarette. He crashed into the mother and two of her children, who were taken to trauma centers where the young girl ultimately passed away. Perkins was arrested, ticketed and charged with driving with a suspended license involving a death.

Staggering Statistics

Unfortunately this story is not uncommon. In 2015 alone, 45,740 crashes in Florida involved a distracted driver, and more than 200 people were killed across the state. While texting and driving is a huge contributor to these statistics, distracted driving doesn’t just involve using a cell phone. Changing the radio station, eating and operating a navigation system (among others) are all serious distractions. Click here to view more in-depth statistics of 2015 distracted driving crashes by FL county.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Florida Distracted Driving Awareness Month, designed to remind drivers to focus on the road ahead. The campaign highlights three categories of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual driver distraction includes taking your eyes off the road for any reason, while manual involves taking your hands off of the steering wheel. Cognitive driver distraction means the driver is thinking about something other than driving, which can be equally dangerous. Doing any or all of these can hold serious consequences.

If you need to place a phone call, send a text message or do anything else that may be distracting, pull over to a safe place before doing so. Don’t risk your life and the lives of others. Doing so could result in a citation, serious injury or death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a distracted driver, The Ruth Law Team can help. Visit GetJustice.com for more information, or call 1-888-783-8378 for a free consultation.