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Distracted Driver Causes Five-Car Crash Injuring Two in Tampa

A driver allegedly spilled his coffee which caused him to hit another vehicle and then set off a chain-reaction with three other vehicles. According to Police, the accident happened around 10:30 Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in the southbound lanes of I-75 between Fowler Avenue and I-4 in Tampa.

The driver of a Chevy Express told police that he spilled his coffee and looked down, and when he looked up, the cars in front of him had stopped. Police say that he then swerved into a center lane and hit a flatbed truck and then was struck by a Chevrolet Camaro. The Express kept going across the lanes and hit a Dodge Durango before coming to a rest.

In all, five vehicles were damaged, and two people were taken to Tampa Bay General Hospital, one with serious injuries. It’s unknown at this time if the driver of the Express will be charged, and officers say that the accident is still under investigation.

Distracted Driving

When we think of distracted driving, we think of someone on their phone or texting while driving. While this is trending upward at an alarming rate, there are still “old school” ways to be distracted. According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2017, there were almost 3,200 people killed by distracted driving, and almost another 500,000 were injured in 1.5 million crashes related to distracted driving.

That’s a lot of crashes and injuries that can be avoided by paying attention. Some of the ways other than cell phone use people are distracted are:

  • Spilled food,
  • Putting on makeup/combing hair
  • Drowsy driving,
  • Adjusting radio/CD player
  • Talking/interacting with car occupants

Cell Phone Distracted Driving

Of course, the number one distracted driving cause is cell phone use. The NTHSA puts the number of distraction fatalities due to cell-phone use at 53 percent of all distraction fatalities. That means almost 1,800 of those deaths were caused by cell phones.

Why is cell phone use the culprit for such a high percentage? There are several reasons:

  • Younger and less experienced drivers are more likely to text and drive.
  • Looking at a text takes 5 seconds, the time it takes to travel the length of a football field if going 55.
  • Drivers are more likely to use their cell phone multiple times on a trip.
  • There are levels of distraction such as reading a text versus responding.

Types of Distracted Driving Injuries

When a driver is distracted, they are less likely to slow down, and thus speed becomes a factor in the crash. When this happens, there are some common injuries that happen in distracted driving crashes.

  • Thoracic Spine Injury (Whiplash)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Concussion/Other head injuries
  • Broken arms/legs
  • Compression injuries
  • Deep Contusions/Lacerations

Do I need an Attorney?

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, the best thing to do is to talk to an attorney. Insurance companies have a job to do, and that is to pay you as little as they can so they can make money. Don’t talk to an insurance agent of one of their high-rise attorney’s until you’ve spoken to an attorney you can trust to tell you the truth.

RHINO Lawyers are the Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers that take Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”


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Rhino Lawyers, Personal Injury Lawyer, Tampa, FL


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