Driver answers cell phone causing crash in Florida, 6 injured

With the amazing advancements in technology over the past few years, our cell phones provide us with an opportunity to communicate with others in a variety of ways such as texting, e-mailing, Facebook and talking. These advancements also provide a dangerous distraction for those who are driving on our Florida roads.

Drivers must recognize that even if they take their eyes off of the road for a brief moment to answer their cell phone or to look at a text message, their chances of being involved in a car accident increase. Taking one’s eyes off of the road decreases a driver’s reaction time. As a result, a driver could cause a serious crash and risk injuring others.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, six people were injured earlier this week in an accident on the BeachLine Expressway. Troopers reported that the driver who caused the accident became distracted while driving as he attempted to answer his cell phone.

The accident occurred Monday around 4:30 p.m. A 30-year-old man was traveling westbound on the BeachLine Expressway in his 2006 Nissan pickup truck. The man’s phone began to ring and he took his eyes off of the road to answer it. While answering his cell phone, the man suddenly lost control of his truck.

The truck drove into the median near mile marker 41, causing the vehicle to then roll over in front of oncoming eastbound traffic. A GMC SUV traveling eastbound on the expressway was unable to stop in time to avoid crashing into the Nissan.

The driver and all four passengers in the GMC were taken to a local Florida hospital to be treated for their injuries. Two of the passengers were only 1 and 2 years old. The driver of the Nissan was also taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Fortunately, no one suffered from any life-threatening injuries. However, Monday’s accident clearly illustrates the dangers of distracted driving and how one quick glance away from the road can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle, potentially putting the lives of others at risk.

Source:Orlando Sentinel: “Six injured on BeachLine when driver answering cell phone crashes, FHP says,” Anika Myers Palm, 21 June 2011