Every 44 seconds in Florida, a crash occurs and one in seven is due to a distracted driver according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

As part of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, FLHSMV, its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), and campaign partners are reminding drivers of the dangers of not paying attention behind the wheel.

Preliminary figures show in 2023, nearly 300 people in Florida died due to distracted driving, up 23 deaths from 2022.

According to the FLHSMV, distracted driving is often underreported because behaviors associated with it do not fall under one statute but instead may fall under several, including texting and driving, careless driving, failure to maintain a single lane and aggressive careless driving.

“Anyone operating a vehicle should be free of distractions and be attentive to the roadway, other vehicles, and changes to traffic patterns,” said Executive Director Dave Kerner. “While multitasking may seem normal in our daily lives, it is deadly when you are behind the wheel. Focus on driving safely and arriving safely. Everything else can wait.”

More information and safe driving tips are available by visiting FLHSMV’s Distracted Driving webpage.