If you or anyone you know has a tendency to send or read texts while driving, it is time to re-think that dangerous habit. The Florida texting and driving ban goes into effect October 1st so if you're caught texting while driving, you will be fined.
Florida is now among 41 other states to ban texting while driving however, they are also one of four states to have it listed as a secondary offense. Essentially this means that an officer must first catch you in another traffic offense before they can fine you for texting as well. For example, if you are speeding and the officer notices that you were also texting then you may be charged for both offenses.
The first offense will cost drivers $30 plus court fees and the second offense is $60. Drivers may use their phones to check their GPS or for the use of voice commands while driving. They may also text or use their online services while stopped at a red-light or in traffic; they can also talk on their phones without restriction.
AAA calls the ban a good start but some legislators are hoping to continue building on the law in order to better regulate cellphone use while driving.
Texting is considered the number one distraction for most drivers, others including eating, changing radio stations, and even talking with their passengers. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2009 there were more than 2,000 car accidents caused by a distracted driver.
Furthermore, a survey done by AT&T in 2013 found that more than 40% of both teens and adults admitted to texting while driving and the number of adults who texted while behind the wheel was actually greater than that of teens.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Our experienced auto accident attorneys can help you determine if you may be eligible to make a claim.