How closely do you pay attention when driving?
Florida recently stopped a bill on texting and driving going through that would have made driving and texting a primary offense. The halt was due to the worry that racial profiling would be made more possible due to it giving police officers a reason to pull individuals over regardless of committing an actual traffic infraction.
While the move is admirable, distracted driving also happens to be one of the top causes of why people get into a fatal auto accident. It is right up there with drunk driving and poor weather as the leading causes of these types of accidents.
Law in Florida currently prohibits texting while operating a motor vehicle but it is not yet reached a primary offense. In that case, drivers would be pulled over for it. Breaking the law gets drivers a fine of thirty dollars and no license points. A second occurrence within the course of five years is a moving violation with a fine that can go up to sixty dollars and some points. The law that was halted would not have changed the point structure but would have upgraded it from a secondary to primary violation.
April is Distracted Driver Month, and Florida has its fair share of accidents caused by distracted driving. With a five-second average distraction time period a car can travel a significant distance and cover a lot of ground. Florida does not list this as a primary offense but saw 9% of fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving in 2016.
Floridians have also been ranked some of the worst drivers in the United States as well. The amount of crashes that occur due to distracted driving has only continued to be on the rise not only in the sunshine state but plenty of others. With the ability to be distracted present now more than ever thanks to a proliferation of cell phones, tablets, and other media, as well as having things on our minds and perhaps not feeling as focused or distracted by talking (to passengers or while on the phone). Driving distracted comes with very real risks.
It’s important that we as drivers don’t add to a growing list of accidents caused primarily by distraction. Whether the laws about it are harsh or not, it’s not worth injuring yourself or losing a life over. Preventing distracted driving is already a priority for many countries and states as well as drivers. A Change.org petition in Florida devoted to making texting while driving in the state a primary offense garnered over fifty thousand signatures.
Phone calls and texting do not always make up all accidents caused by distracted driving. However, leading causes can often include selecting music, looking at directions, eating food, and more. Apps from Apple to Waze are even implementing measures to make sure drivers are not using them irresponsibly. Many lawmakers and law enforcement officers speaking out in an attempt to get a bill going as well that would make phone usage a primary offense.
If you’ve been in an accident thanks to distracted driving, contact the Attorneys that are Ready To Fight for you and find out what your rights are today.