Texting while driving is perhaps just as dangerous as drinking while driving, and there’s a law against it in Florida. But that law is so tough to enforce, it’s hardly ever used, according to the Tampa Bay Times. To begin with, texting while driving in Florida is still a “secondary” offense – like wearing seat-belts used to be in this state – so drivers can only be cited when they’re stopped for other violations like speeding or running a stop sign. At stoplights, the law doesn’t apply at all. It’s now estimated that Florida police officers will issue fewer than 1,800 texting citations in the law’s first year. One federal study the Times referenced estimates that at any given daytime moment, 40,000 Florida drivers are either talking or texting on a cell phone. In south Florida, if you are injured in any collision by a driver who was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced Palm Beach car accident attorney immediately. You may have grounds to file a personal injury claim, but you’ll need to act promptly.
Depending on which report you read, cell phone use makes drivers from 3-to-23 times more likely to crash than drivers not using cell phones. Only four other states do not make texting while driving a “primary” offense, meaning that is the only cause a police officer would need to conduct a traffic stop. In contrast to the estimated 1,800 texting tickets that will be issued in Florida this year, about 155,000 tickets for texting are issued annually in California, where texting is a primary offense. Some in south Florida hope texting regulations here evolve the same way regulations developed for driving without a seat belt, which only became a primary offense in Florida five years ago.
Another common distraction on the road is driving with your pet. As many as one in three motorists admit that they are frequently distracted by their pets while driving, increasing the risk of an accident. Failure to restrain your pets can increase your risk of an accident. Pets riding unrestrained in a car with their owners are a much higher distraction factor than believed. According to a new study by the AAA, American motorists drive too often with pets loose in the car. These pets are not restrained in any kind of pet restraint system. Rather, they’re allowed to ride in the front seat, the backseat or sometimes even in the driver’s lap.
There is no reason why you need to drive with your pet unsecured in your car. There is an entire range of pet travel products out there, including everything from pet seatbelts and booster seats to carriers, depending on the breed and size of the pet. Distractions don’t only have to involve electronic distractions. Even petting Max can increase your risk of an accident.
Anywhere in south Florida, if you are injured as a result of driver negligence such as texting while driving, you may be able to file a personal injury suit and receive compensation for your medical treatment and related expenses. Have this handled by a good car accident lawyer. If you’re injured – now or in the future – by a driver who was texting or negligent in some other way, speak immediately to an experienced Palm Beach car accident attorney.