With so much technology on the dashboard these days, cars are no longer just a mode of transportation. Many people consider them part of themselves — little bit of home they take with them wherever they go.
Unfortunately, as technology has progressed, so has the number of distraction surrounding us at 70 mph on he freeway. In Florida (like all states), obtaining a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. When drivers get behind the wheel, they take on an awsome responsibility for the safety of themselves, their passengers and others who share the road.
Florida, like many other states, are beginning to pass laws intended to prevent distracted driving. This blog post will discuss the direction our state is going. Keep in mind that certain cities may have more severe legislation than the state in general.
States are beginning to see the light
Altogether, 15 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have recently passed legislation making it illegal for all drivers to use handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. It is important to separate this from all cell phones, as people with Bluetooth connections may be allowed to use Bluetooth if their hands are free.
In addition, this “hands-free” law is a primary enforcement law. This means police officers can pull someone over for no other reason than observing the driver using a using a handheld cell phone without any other cause. Although Florida does not yet have laws in place against the use of a handheld phone, if police determine that the device caused he driver to be distracted, the officer has the right to pull them over and issue a citation.
But the U.S. is not quite there yet
No state has completely outlawed using cell phones while driving; however, 38 states and Washington D.C. have laws against young drivers, such as teenagers, from using any cell phone whatsoever while driving. Many states also have laws against school bus drivers using cell phones while driving. Florida does not currently have a law against teenage or novice cell phone use, but teenagers are more accident prone. Cell phones only make matters even riskier. It is important for young drivers to place their full attention on the road.
Almost every state, including Florida, in addition to Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws against text messaging while driving. In fact, Florida has electronic signs everywhere stating the ban clearly. Texting doesn’t just take the hands off of the wheel, but it also takes the eyes off of the road. This is what makes it so dangerous. Three of four remaining states have various laws against text messaging for some drivers.
Almost everyone understands that cell phones, text messages, and other distractions can put both themselves and others at risk when behind the wheel. As technology has increased the number of distractions inside the car, new data has been released regarding an increase in accidents in South Florida.
It is important to follow traffic rules, but no one is a perfect driver and one day you might need the services of best DUI lawyers in Fort Lauderdale.
Teenage drivers appear to be most affected
The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently completed a study analyzing the effect of technology on teenage drivers. Over one-third of teenagers have admitted to texting while behind the wheel. Of fatal accidents with teenage drivers, 21 percent of these collisions involved texting while operating a motor vehicle. This means that every day, 11 teenagers are killed due to driving while texting. Obviously, these statistics prompted new legislation against texting while driving in almost every state.
Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer
The new legislation is important to people who suffer personal injury due to distracted driving. Car accidents are expensive events, even for people with insurance. Cars repairs are costly. Replacing a car is even more expensive. If someone has a medical bill on top of the damage to their car, this can be almost impossible to handle.
Many people carry lifelong pain or disability due to injuries sustained in a car accident. Florida’s distracted driver laws allow injured parties to file a lawsuit against a distracted driver on the grounds of negligence. For those living in the Tampa, Florida area, contact the Barnes Trial Group today. With a long track record of successful cases and satisfied clients, we can help you recover the full and fair financial damages you are entitled to.