Wondering if you should consult with a distracted driving accident lawyer? Then you’re in the right place! Discover how the Florida distracted driving law protects people like you from motorists who are not focused on driving.
The Danger Of Distracted Driving
When a driver’s attention is drawn away from the imperative task of driving, they are distracted by a secondary activity:
- Manually taking your hands off the steering wheel, for example eating or tending to unsecured pets on the back seat
- Visually taking your eyes off the road, for example to check the GPS or gawk at an accident on the other side of the road
- Cognitively thinking about anything other than driving, even just daydreaming.
Distracted driving is extremely risky and puts everyone on the road in danger.
When we first opened our law firm in 1993, we often saw cases where a driver who was distracted by spilled coffee, kids screaming, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup, trying to get change for a toll caused an accident, etc.. Now, we often see drivers not using hand-free cell phones or Bluetooth, holding their phone to their heads or even texting while driving which causes another entire level of distraction leading to additional automobile crashes.
In fact, because texting requires manual, visual, and cognitive distraction, recent studies indicate that texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of distracted driving behaviours and at least as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Florida’s Distracted Driving Law
According to a report released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 48,537 car accidents and 308 fatalities related to distracted driving in 2020 alone. That, despite a state-wide safety campaign launched in June of 2015 to tackle the problem of distracted driving on Florida’s roads and 64 rest areas, welcome centers, and turnpike service plazas designated as safe phone zones throughout the state.
No wonder, then, that according to the distracted driving law, Florida motorists are required to put their phones down and concentrate on driving:
- As of July 1, 2019, drivers could be stopped and written up for texting and driving under Florida Statutes section 316.305
- Since October 1, 2019, Section 316.306 Florida Statutes, motorists taking a phone call while driving through a school zone, or a work zone could be pulled over and issued a warning.
- As of January 1, 2020, drivers not using a device in hands-free mode in school and work zones will be issued a citation.