The Most Common Causes Of Sarasota Car Crashes: Distracted Driving

Sarasota with its beaches, vibrant arts scene, and picturesque sunsets may be considered a jewel of the Gulf Coast to outsiders, but in reality, our community is a growing metro area with our share of larger city problems - especially traffic.

This is most obvious on Sarasota’s busiest roads like Tamiami Trail, Fruitville Road, US 301, and University Parkway. The traffic on these major roads has contributed to a significant, and an increasing number of car accidents.

As Sarasota car accident attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh, we have seen the number and severity of these cases increase, and understanding the leading causes of serious car crashes in the area is crucial to providing effective legal assistance to our clients.

In this series, beginning with Distracted Driving, we will be exploring the top reasons that can lead to severe car accidents in Sarasota Florida.

Distracted Driving - Handheld Devices Increase Risk On Sarasota's Roads

Just like the rest of the country, distracted driving in Florida is a leading cause of car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2019, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives (1). On Sarasota’s busy roads, drivers may be distracted by a wide variety of reasons from texting and making phone calls, to adjusting the radio or attending to passengers. Florida's texting and driving law (2) prohibits the use of texting on handheld devices while driving to minimize the risk of accidents caused by distracted driving.

Distracted driving is categorized into three main types:

taking one's eyes off the road
Manual distractions: taking one's hands off the wheel
Cognitive distractions: taking one's mind off driving (1)

Some of the most common and most dangerous reasons drivers are distracted include texting or talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, using a navigation system like a Garmin, or speaking to their children or passengers while driving.

Florida 2019 Texting While Diving Law - A Weak Protection For Sarasota Drivers

In response to an ever-increasing tally of people who have been injured or have died in a car accident caused by distracted driving, the Florida legislature passed a law to punish distracted drivers for helping make Florida’s roads safer.

Florida's texting and driving law, which went into effect in 2019, prohibits the use of handheld devices for texting or non-voice communication while driving. Additionally, the law also bans the use of handheld devices on roads when driving within school zones and construction work zones.

Even though under Florida Statutes Section 316.305, police can stop any vehicle and issue a ticket to motorists who are texting and driving, violators of Florida's distracted driving laws will only face small fines and get points on their driver's licenses. Many of us who see the effect of texting and driving in the real world, feel that the Florida law is too watered down to have much of an effect in controlling texting while driving.

The penalties for texting while driving are just not strong enough to deter most drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior, and as a result, serious car accidents in Sarasota caused by distracted driving continue to occur in Sarasota.

Distracted driving is a dangerous and prevalent issue in our community, that continues to put the personal safety of drivers, passengers, and bystanders at risk. As long-time personal injury attorneys serving Sarasota for over 30 years, we understand the implications of distracted driving and while flawed, Florida's laws can help provide effective legal assistance to clients affected by such incidents.

As practicing injury lawyers we help the Sarasota community reduce distracted driving crashes by attempting to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and by advocating for injured accident victims. Together we can contribute to making Sarasota's roads safer for everyone.

Read More
The Most Common Causes Of Sarasota Car Crashes: Speeding & Aggressive Driving


(1) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Distracted Driving:

(2) Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles - Florida’s Texting and Driving Law.

Video FAQ:

What You Need To Know About Dealing With The Insurance Adjuster After A Crash


Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.


Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office



2822 University Parkway Sarasota Florida 34243

Bradenton Office



1215 Manatee Ave West Bradenton Florida 34205

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg


6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Lakewood Ranch Office



9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch Florida 34202

Venice Office



3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office



2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Punta Gorda Office

Punta Gorda


122 Nesbit St, Suite 113, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte


3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office



10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers


8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office



5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.