Any Florida driver who spends even a small amount of time on the state roadways will understand the problem of people who are not paying attention to the road and are instead looking down at their handheld devices. It is known how dangerous the practice is, but people continue to do it. People who are in a crash should be aware of the chance that it was due to a distracted driver.
Currently, state law limits what law enforcement officers can do to cite drivers for texting and driving. However, there is an ongoing attempt by legislators to make it easier to stop and cite distracted drivers.
For instance, the law now lists texting and driving as a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement can make a traffic stop and cite the driver only if another violation such as running a red light has occurred. The proposal would make it a primary offense, giving officers the ability to stop a driver for texting and driving alone.
Those who advocate for traffic safety have long pushed for texting and driving to be changed to a primary offense. There were nearly 1,700 citations given in the state in 2018. Of those cited, 39 had prior offenses.
Since distracted driving is now one of the leading reasons for motor vehicle accidents and people can suffer catastrophic injuries along with the medical costs, lost wages, lost ability to function normally and more, this is an important consideration after an accident.
As the bill moves forward, it is a fundamental reality that people will continue to take part in distracting behaviors behind the wheel, including texting and driving, checking emails, using social media and making calls. After motor vehicle accidents, gathering evidence is imperative to a potential legal filing. Contacting a law firm that specializes in helping people who have been hurt in distracted driving motor vehicle accidents should be the first step after a crash.