– By Micheal Hancock
A Florida man has been charged with careless driving after causing a five-car crash on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola on June 12. The driver of the vehicle, Jeremy Cochran, told Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) that he was distracted and was reaching for his cell phone, which he had dropped on the floor of his vehicle.
Four vehicles were stopped at a red light where Nine Mile Road meets Scenic Highway when Cochran careened into the stopped vehicles. Cochran later told FHP that he did not realize the vehicles were stopped.
All drivers and passengers of the vehicles involved in the crash sustained minor injuries and were treated at West Florida and Sacred Heart hospitals. Officials have estimated that $44,000 worth of damage was done to the vehicles.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as having three types: visual, manual and cognitive distraction. Distraction is any activity that requires drivers to take their eyes off the road, remove their hands from the wheel, stop thinking about driving or any combination of the above.
Distracted driving doesn’t just mean talking or texting on a cell phone – it can be any activity that interferes with your driving, such as reaching down for your misplaced cell phone. Other activities that can be distracting while driving include eating, talking to passengers, applying makeup and fiddling with the stereo or a navigation system.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to NHTSA, 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents resulting in an injury involved some kind of distracted driving in 2009.
Cell phone distractions are the most common and often the most deadly, as they involve all three types of distraction. NHTSA data shows that cell phone distraction accounted for 18 percent of those killed in crashes caused by distracted driving.
The Institute for Highway Safety has found that drivers that use cell phones and navigation systems are four times as likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury to themselves or others.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, call attorney Mike Hancock at 813-915-1110 for a free consultation of your case. Our phones are answered 24/7.