What are the Current Florida Laws on Texting and Driving?
Based on a report by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, of the 17.5 million drivers in the Sunshine State, authorities only issued 3,174 tickets for texting while driving in 2020. The texting while driving law took effect in 2019, enabling law enforcement officials to give tickets to drivers caught texting behind the wheel. But it’s fairly easy to find loopholes in this law.
Under the law, drivers don’t need to surrender their cellphones without a warrant, which makes it hard to prove that they were texting and driving. Drivers can also easily lie and say that they were just checking their GPS or using another app, which is not illegal.
The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law
As the name implies, this law permits law enforcement officials to stop vehicles and issue tickets to drivers who are found to be texting while driving. It is illegal to drive a vehicle while manually entering or typing multiple numbers, letters, or symbols into cellphones or similar wireless communication devices to instant message, text, or email. The law also bans using wireless communications devices in work and school zones when used in a handheld manner.
Holiday Season is a Prime Time for Distracted Driving Accidents
Texting while driving and other distracted driving practices have been known to increase during the holiday season due to busy schedules, work deadlines, and increased travel. Various holiday activities can likewise make drivers feel more pressure, fatigue, and stress. Using cellphones, grooming, reading maps, and tinkering on the radio can easily distract drivers from driving safely.
Millions of people travel to visit their friends and loved ones during the holiday season. As they’re driving, it is common to give updates on where they are. Unfortunately, this means that most drivers will text someone while driving. Similarly, drivers also text the people they’re meeting when they’re stuck in traffic to let them know they’ll be late. In addition, drivers speed more during the holidays to beat traffic or rush to and from many holiday parties.
Distracted driving crashes injure hundreds of thousands of people and kill several thousand people each year. It is just impossible to focus on driving when you are distracted. NHTSA research shows that when drivers are looking at a phone conversation, their field of vision gets cut by up to 50%, and their ability to process images is also diminished. Cellphone distractions also pull a driver’s focus away from driving, not just when using the phone but for some time after.
Talk to an Experienced Florida Auto Accident Lawyer Now
Keep in mind that distracted driving is driver negligence. Distracted drivers must and can be held liable for all of the injuries and damages they cause by not practicing reasonable care and failing to pay adequate attention when driving.
The skilled Florida auto accident lawyers of Matthews Injury Law can help secure the compensation you need to cover all your distracted driving accident-associated losses. Complete our online form or call 813-530-1000 or 941-877-5800 to set up a free evaluation of your case with one of our Florida auto accident lawyers.