Addressing Distracted Driving in Florence, Alabama

July 6, 2023

By Thomas McCutcheon

The Rise of Florence Distracted Driving Accidents

With the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, the incidence of distracted driving, a potentially lethal practice, has become increasingly commonplace.

While many regard it as a peaceful city, Florence, Alabama, has recorded an alarming surge in distracted driving accidents. Our team of dedicated car accident attorneys is here to provide you with valuable information regarding the facts about distracted driving accidents in Florence to raise awareness about this urgent matter and its impact on our community. 

Distracted Driving Accident Statistics in Florence, Alabama

Addressing Distracted Driving in Florence, Alabama

Florence, Alabama, has witnessed a distressing upsurge in distracted driving accidents, mirroring a broader national pattern.

The following statistics underscore the magnitude of the problem within our locality:

  • In a recent year, Alabama registered 57 certified fatalities associated with distracted driving.
  • One study reported that Alabama ranks as the second-worst state for distracted driving in the nation, with drivers spending an average of 8 percent of their time behind the wheel distracted.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists account for one in five traffic fatalities involving distracted driving. 
  • Distracted driving causes about 8 to 9 percent of Florence’s 1,492 annual traffic accidents

Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents

The most frequent causes of distracted driving accidents in Florence include:

  • Cell phone use: Drivers texting, making phone calls, browsing social media, or using navigation apps present a higher risk of accidents. A staggering 38 percent of drivers admit to accepting or making calls while driving.
  • In-vehicle distractions: Eating, grooming, reaching for an object, or altering entertainment systems can considerably impair a driver’s attention.
  • External distractions: Drivers focusing on billboards, roadside incidents, or conversations with passengers can detract attention from the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of the most dangerous behaviors for drivers are also some of the most common. 

Consequences of Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving accidents injure victims and hurt the lives of those who care for them.

Culpable drivers, too, must often face consequences that affect their lives for years. 

  • Personal injuries: Distracted driving accidents frequently result in severe injuries, including significant head trauma, spinal cord injuries, or even fatalities.
  • Financial burden: These accidents impose significant financial strain on victims due to medical expenses, property damage, and potential income loss resulting from an inability to work.
  • Legal ramifications: Distracted drivers may face legal repercussions, including fines, license suspension, and inflated insurance premiums.

Measures to Counteract Distracted Driving

Addressing the problem of distracted driving necessitates a comprehensive strategy involving education, awareness, and enforcement.

These steps could help prevent distracted driving accidents in Florence:

  • Education initiatives: Authorities and local organizations should run public awareness campaigns, highlighting the perils of distracted driving and endorsing responsible behavior while driving.
  • Legislative measures and enforcement: Augmenting laws and imposing strict penalties for offenders could deter distracted drivers.
  • Technological solutions: Technological innovations such as hands-free calling, voice commands, and text-to-speech can minimize distractions while driving. However, these activities, while safer than their handheld counterparts, may not eliminate risk.
  • Parental engagement: Parents must set an example of safe driving habits for their children and educate their teenage drivers about the hazards of distracted driving.
  • Legal solutions for distracted driving victims: Those who a distracted driver injured can access quality legal advice and the services of a skilled professional. 

The Impact of the Hands-Free Law in Alabama

A significant stride in curtailing distracted driving in Alabama is the implementation of the hands-free law, a substantial legislative measure that went into effect in June 2023. This law strictly prohibits drivers from physically holding or touching their mobile phones while operating a vehicle. The law minimizes distractions caused by mobile devices and enhances the focus on the primary task of driving.

Following similar initiatives in other states across the nation, this landmark law underlines the severity of the issue of distracted driving and represents a decisive step toward eradicating it.

The hands-free law imposes stiff penalties for violations, including fines and points on the driver’s license. First-time offenders will face a $50 fine, which increases to $100 and $150 for the second and third offenses, respectively. Furthermore, each offense will accumulate points on the offender’s driving record.

Moreover, to discourage distracted driving and promote safety, the hands-free law permits the use of voice-operated or hands-free technology for calls, texts, or navigation. In addition, drivers under the age of 18 with less than six months of active driver’s license history may not use cell phone, including hands-free devices. Bus drivers also face an all-cellphone ban due to their increased responsibility for passengers.

While these laws may reduce the risk of accidents due to distracted driving, curtailing this negligence also requires collective awareness and responsible behavior from all drivers to ensure its effectiveness.

Injured by a Distracted Driver? McCutcheon & Hamner Can Help.

Distracted driving accidents in Florence are a serious concern that demands immediate attention. The increasing prevalence of distracted driving and its devastating consequences necessitate proactive measures to address this issue. By raising awareness, enforcing stricter laws, and promoting responsible driving habits, we can make our roads safer and prevent future tragedies. Let us come together as a community to combat distracted driving and ensure the well-being of all Florence residents on our streets.

At McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C., we have the experience and local knowledge to handle distracted driving accident cases in Florence. If you or a loved one was in such an accident, our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys can protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for you.

Our proven track record in distracted driving injury cases places your claim in capable hands. We will thoroughly investigate your case, gather essential evidence, and work with outside medical experts to establish liability. Our compassionate attorneys will handle negotiations with insurance companies and, if necessary, represent you in court to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. 

Don’t face the aftermath of a distracted driving accident alone. Contact McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. today for your free consultation. Let us use our experience and perseverance to guide you through the legal process while you focus on your physical recovery. Together, we can hold distracted drivers accountable and help you obtain the justice you deserve.

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