Florida Laws on Texting and Driving
The results are in. Discovery’s MythBusters proved it, Car and Driver Magazine proved it and a study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory confirmed it, drivers who text on the road are probably more dangerous than those who drink and drive (or those who smoke pot and drive).
According to the UK-based TRL study, those who read or wrote texts while driving slowed their reaction times by 35 percent, while drunk drivers’ reaction times lowered only by 12 percent and those who were high on marijuana had a reduced time of only 21 percent comparatively. The marijuana stats are, of course, only included because they are legal now in a select few places in the U.S., and is the only tested distractor that even might be illegal overall anywhere.
Texting While Driving Legality
In five states, including Florida, texting while driving isn’t a primary offense. That basically means that an officer who sees someone texting while driving who isn’t committing another violation simultaneously can’t take any action against that driver. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t laws in place in various counties or cities, and in other states, it just means that those patrolling the streets may not have absolute power to stop people from texting and driving.
That said, texting while driving is proven dangerous. In fact, a study conducted jointly by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that cell phone use is the leading cause of distracted driving.
If you’re using a cell phone, especially for texting, you’re committing three potential deadly sins of automobile operation.
- Taking your eyes off the road
- Taking your hand(s) off the wheel
- Paying less (to no) attention to driving
Texting While Driving & Kissimmee Auto Accidents
Just because Florida (or any other state) doesn’t have an outright law against texting and driving doesn’t mean you can’t sue. In fact, the responsible driver may be cited for reckless driving in the absence of a law against it.
But because there’s no law against it, it can get a bit sticky depending on what happens at the scene, what the officer observes and what any immediate witnesses can attest to. The fact remains that if you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Distracted drivers are dangerous. Their victims may experience not only property damage in the form of damage to their vehicles (or other property when they hit non-moving targets, which does happen), but people can be seriously injured or even die as the result of their careless actions.
Types of Damages from Texting-While-Driving Accidents
If someone is injured or killed when another driver is texting while driving, the victim or their families may be entitled to compensation for things like property damage, medical bills (including future medical needs) and other compensation as necessary.
The law with regard to damages of any kind in an auto accident can be tricky, but personal injury lawyers generally give free consultations and work on contingency, meaning there are nominal up-front fees in most cases (if any at all). It’s always best to interview one just to get a professional legal opinion in that case.
If you’re involved in a car accident with a driver who was texting, call the Kissimmee personal injury lawyers at Draper Law Offices at 866-767-4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation or contact us online.