Does Florida’s Text and Drive Laws Decrease Distracted Driving Accidents?
In 2013, there was a new law passed in the State of Florida that made it illegal to use one’s cell phone while operating a vehicle. This was mainly done to prevent drivers from being distracted while on the road, particularly by looking down at their cell phones and texting or browsing the internet. Such a law is not necessarily controversial, as many other states and the District of Columbia have done so recently as well, but it has been met with mixed opinions about the effectiveness of it. Statistically speaking, Florida’s text and drive law has not actually decreased accidents by any significant margin.
Over the course of the few years in which the law has been in effect, there has been no major decrease in automobile accidents and even less of a trend for distracted driving accidents. In fact, fewer than 400 traffic tickets have been given out for violation of the text and drive law in Florida since its inception. Why is this? Well, officers and state troopers generally are not able to pull someone over for texting while driving unless some kind of other violation is present, such as speeding or a light out. Therefore, the law is poorly enforced.
Due to the poor execution of Florida’s texting and driving law, the number of accidents have barely decreased. This was clearly not the desired effect, but until state legislature deems it worthwhile to change this, the trend should continue in this way. With this in mind, all drivers should acknowledge distracted driving as dangerous behavior and avoid it. Just because a person may not get caught does not mean that the action should be undertaken.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving someone who was texting while driving, you are certainly entitled to financial compensation for these personal injuries. The law is on your side in this because distracted driving is an obvious form of negligence, but it is still a good idea to have a skilled attorney on your side to help navigate this process. To learn more about how the Franco Law Firm can serve you in this capacity, please call us at (813) 872-0929.