State Safety Office
Distracted driving is typified by any mental or physical activity that takes the driver’s focus off the task of driving. The Florida crash report allows officers to report driver distraction in the following categories: distracted by electronic communication devices (cell phone, etc), other electronic devices (navigation device, DVD player), other distraction inside the vehicle, external distraction (outside the vehicle), texting or general inattentiveness.
Distracted driving has become a pressing concern for traffic safety professionals and the general public. In 2009, 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in reported distracted driving motor vehicle crashes. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) launched a national campaign to end the dangerous practices of distracted driving. These efforts have boosted public attention to the problem and built momentum for action all over the country.
A web-based, traffic safety survey conducted in 2010 asked 1,287 respondents to identify the most serious traffic safety problems in Florida. Sixty-four percent of the respondents selected distracted/inattentive driving as a traffic safety problem.Strategies
- Increase public awareness and distracted driving prevention programs.
- Encourage public and private sector entities to adopt and enforce distracted driving policies.
- Support legislative initiatives that enhance distracted driving related traffic laws and regulations.
- Support Graduated Drivers License (GDL) restrictions to reduce distracted driving behaviors in teen drivers.
- Increase law enforcement officer understanding of Florida traffic crash report distracted driving data collection.
- Educate law enforcement, judges and magistrates on the existing laws applicable to distracted driving (careless driving).
- Deploy high-visibility distracted driving enforcement mobilizations subject to appropriate/future legislation.