Posts Tagged ‘Accidents’

Possible Changes Coming to Florida Texting & Driving Laws?

Many drivers have glanced at their phones to check a message while zipping through traffic without thinking twice about the consequences. In those few seconds, the driver is not paying attention to any other vehicles or pedestrians.  It probably doesn’t occur that the drivers checking their phones are putting themselves and everyone else at risk of serious injuries or worse.

Without question, texting and driving is a dangerous habit and a significant factor in Florida accidents. According to Distraction.gov, texting behind the wheel creates a crash risk 23 times greater than driving without distraction.

Despite the clear dangers of texting behind the wheel, Florida remains one of 11 states without a ban on text messaging for all drivers.  While various proposals to ban texting while driving in Florida have been shot down since 2002, the State Legislature likely will reconsider new texting laws in 2013. Our West Palm Beach injury attorneys urge Florida lawmakers to pass the texting and driving bans so that drivers throughout the state will know that it is illegal to send or receive texts behind the wheel.  We also urge all drivers to remember that texting and driving is dangerous and to refrain from doing it at any time.

One of two state senators proposing a texting law was quoted by WCTV in Tallahassee: “Hope springs eternal. We have a new senate, a new house, hopefully a new way of thinking, but we won’t know until we put a bill out there and we see how it does,” said Sen. Thad Altman, a Republican from Brevard.

The proposed law would mean that drivers caught text messaging would get points on their license. An alternative proposal calls for making it illegal for 16- and 17-year-old drivers to send or receive texts while driving.

While Florida now enforces a “distracted driving” law, the offense is not enforceable and only goes into a report as contributing factor in a car accident.

Use Good Judgment and Put Down the Phone While Driving

Whether or not Florida legislators make any changes to the law, drivers should make the right choice by not texting behind the wheel. According to Distraction.gov, drivers texting while the car is moving at 55 mph will essentially drive the length of a football field blindfolded. Texting while driving clearly poses a grave danger to the driver and everyone else on the road. It’s an unnecessary risk.

If you are a parent with a teenage driver, monitor his or her texting behavior. According to US News, 43 percent of teens admitted in a survey that they text while driving, even though 97 percent of those responding to a survey know that it is dangerous.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Cartwright & Cartwright, P.A., at (800) 608-2965 for a free and confidential consultation.