Are Distracted Driving Accidents Up Among Florida Police Officers?

by Carmen Dellutri on March 2, 2012

Naples car accident lawyerDistractions can cause any driver to crash, including police officers, according to an investigative report by the Orlando Sentinel. The newspaper released its findings earlier this week after analyzing five years' worth of vehicle-crash data to determine how often Florida law-enforcement officers crash while in department vehicles and how often they are to blame for the accident.

As Fort Myers personal injury attorneys, we were astounded by the results. As detailed by the paper, “Florida cops are involved in 7,400 patrol-car crashes annually that injure 2,400 people, kill 20 and cause $25 million in property damage. In one out of every four, they are at least partially to blame, and they are seldom ticketed.”

The 1.6 million car accidents involving Florida law-enforcement officers in the past five years including the following:

  • In February 2007, Melbourne police Officer Steven Sigety glanced down at his computer, began a U-turn and crashed into another car on U.S. Highway 1, according to the traffic crash report. A passenger in the other car, 70-year-old Catherine Winstead of Palm Bay, was killed.
  • Polk Deputy Victor L. Diaz glanced at his computer and rear-ended a Chevrolet pickup in front of him on U.S. 27 in June 2008, seriously injuring the driver.
  • In February 2009, Orange County Deputy John P. Questel glanced at his computer and crashed into the back of a Mercedes-Benz that was slowing ahead him on State Road 50 near Lake Pickett Road. That started a chain-reaction, four-car crash that left five people seriously injured and the deputy with lesser injuries.

In good news, the investigation has prompted the FHP to begin work immediately with Florida's sheriffs and police chiefs on how to prevent police-vehicle crashes, according to Gov. Rick Scott's office.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers car accident caused by the negligence of a police officer, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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