On November 29, 2020, a 49-year-old Brandon woman looked down to check
her GPS, caused an accident that damaged 4 vehicles, and sent a state
trooper to the hospital. According to the Florida Highway Patrol and the
Tampa Bay Times, the woman struck the rear corner of a Mustang GT in an attempt to avoid
hitting a disabled SUV and trailer straddling the shoulder and a travel lane.
While the woman was looking down, she failed to notice the SUV and other
vehicles in front of her. When she swerved right to miss the SUV, she
struck the Mustang, which was in use as an unmarked Highway Patrol vehicle
and driven by a 37-year-old state trooper from Pinellas Park. The woman’s
car flipped as a result of the collision, pushing the vehicles in front
of her forward. The Mustang slid into the trailer behind the SUV, and
another car was damaged in the accident.
Four passengers received minor injuries in the crash, and the state trooper
driving the Mustang underwent treatment at a local hospital. The collision
closed the westbound lanes of Gandy Boulevard (the Gandy Bridge) in St.
Petersburg, FL for about 90 minutes.
Fortunately, the accident was not more serious.
Distracted Driving Kills
Each year, nearly 3,000 people lose their lives to distracted driving. The
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as:
“any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or
texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your
vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system
— anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
While the NHTSA and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree that
texting while driving is the ‘most alarming’ distracted driving behavior, the
Tampa Bay car accident described above reveals the risks of using a GPS while driving. Again, “anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction.”
Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, manual distractions require
you to take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions take
your mind off safe driving. All these types of distraction are dangerous,
but activities that combine all 3 (like texting and driving) are especially
deadly. Looking down to read or send a text (or look at your GPS) at 55
mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Let this local accident be a reminder to keep your eyes on the road, your
hands on the wheel, and your mind on the task of safe driving at all times.
If you are harmed by a distracted driver, call Paulsen Law Group
at (727) 270-8260 or contact us online
– don’t forget to schedule your free consultation today!