The state of Florida has a law that prohibits sending or reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. The law does not prohibit sending and receiving verbal cell phone communications and even the texting ban is treated merely as a secondary offense. As a secondary offense, you must be charged with another motor vehicle offense for the charge of texting to even be considered. You can not be pulled over by the police for texting or for talking your cell phone.
In many ways, Florida is still in the dark ages when it comes to the dangers cell phone texting and talking present to society. Automobile traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for those who are under age 30, and it has been proven that distracted driving is the number one cause of traffic accidents, recently surpassing even driving while intoxicated. Cell phone usage contributes to distracted driving.
The website www.flhsmb.gov recently stated that since 2012, distracted driving motor vehicle accidents have increased 25%. Not coincidently, that time frame coincides with the launch of the iPhone and other handheld smartphones. In addition, even though teens account for only 5% of all licensed drivers, teenagers account for 12% of distracted driving accidents. The same distorted ratio’s apply to those age 20-29. It’s not unusual for the first thing a teen driver does is to be to turn on their smartphone and check their text messages before starting the car and driving off.
Cell phone usage including speaking and texting is a growing and potentially deadly new hazard facing our young adults. As a result of distracted driving, several Ft. Lauderdale youths are killed every year. It is our responsibility to get tougher on cell phone usage before this problem claims even one more life.
If you have had a loved one killed by a distracted driver in another vehicle or while as a passenger in the same vehicle, call the experienced Ft. Lauderdale distracted driving attorneys at The Maus Law Firm today for a free consultation.