Effective October 1, 2013, texting while driving will be a secondary traffic offense in Florida. A secondary traffic offense means that offenders can only be ticketed if stopped for another traffic violation, such as speeding. The new law will ban manual texting, emailing and instant messaging while driving. It does not, however, include drivers who are stopped at traffic lights or stopped in traffic. Fines are $30 for the first offense and $60 for the second offense.
Florida is now the 40th state with a texting-while-driving ban. However, Florida is among only four states with a weaker, secondary traffic offense prohibition.
Tampa Injury Attorneys Holding Texting Drivers Accountable
Even though texting or cell phone use while driving is not a primary traffic offense in Florida, such behavior still constitutes negligence. Through law enforcement reports, witness statements and accident reconstruction techniques, our Tampa auto accident lawyers work to show that the inattentive driver caused or failed to avoid the accident. If necessary, we can subpoena the driver’s cell phone records to prove he or she was talking or texting at the time, and that your car accident caused by texting.
The body of research clearly shows that sending or reading text messages while driving, or simply talking on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, increases the risk of a traffic accident. Some studies have shown that texting while driving is actually as dangerous as driving drunk because of the driver’s divided attention and slowed reaction time.
Distracted driving is a factor in at least 25 percent of all traffic crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Texting and talking on a cell phone are among the most common and most dangerous distractions. Those drivers are significantly slower to hit the brakes or swerve and are more likely to cause a rear-end collision, run a red light, drift into another lane or cross the center line.
Seriously Injured in a Car Accident?
Were you seriously injured in an accident due to a distracted driver? The Tampa car accident attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys is committed to standing up for accident victims and making Florida roads safer by holding negligent drivers accountable for the mayhem they cause. For your free case consultation, call 813-915-1110. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also e-mail.