Consequences That Might Make You Reconsider Texting and Driving in FL
Life never seems to stop, and our phone connects us to friends, family, and our job. When we’re driving, it’s tempting to check notifications or quickly text back an important message, but nothing is more precious than your life.
Texting and driving laws in Florida aim to reinforce and protect these principles by upholding strict penalties for texting and driving, which has considerably increased the risk and severity of car accidents. Individuals can face criminal charges and may also be responsible for civil damages if involved with an accident that resulted because of texting and driving. Below are a few consequences to texting and driving in Florida:
Receiving a Traffic Ticket For Texting & Driving
In Florida, it is illegal to email, text, or instant message on a cell phone or other wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle. The 2019 Ban on Texting While Driving made using certain devices while driving a primary offense, allowing law enforcement to pull over drivers for texting and driving without the driver getting into an accident. Now that officers can pull over drivers who haven’t committed an accident, Florida officials hope to decrease the number of incidents caused by driving while distracted.
Causing a Motor Vehicle Accident
In 2018, the CDC recorded over 2,800 people were killed, and an estimated 400,000 were injured from accidents involving distracted drivers. Drivers that text and drive use three primary distractions:
- Visual: The driver takes their eyes off the road.
- Manual: The driver takes their hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive: The driver takes their mind off driving.
Using all three of these may increase the likelihood of a severe motor vehicle accident. When a driver is preoccupied with their phone and causes an accident, the driver may be liable for damages and injuries that are caused. Consider some examples of car accident damages that a driver may be responsible for:
- Personal care costs
- Medical expenses
- Household help
- Loss of income
- Disability and impairments
There are many other physical and emotional damages that the distracted driver could be liable for and should consider before they text and drive.
Distracted Driving May Lead to Higher Insurance Premiums
Distracted driving causes thousands of accidents and injuries each year, and because of this, insurance companies pay out a significant amount of claims for these types of crashes. When you’re cited for texting and driving, insurance companies may increase your rates because you’re now considered a high-risk driver.
How to Prevent Texting and Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 25% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were between the ages of 20 and 29. With texting and driving becoming an increasingly complex problem to stop, it’s essential to understand the risks and preventative measures each person should take. Consider the following list of examples that may help with distracted driving:
- Use cell phone blocking technology: Stop notifications or calls from coming in with phone apps that lock your devices when driving.
- Discuss the risks with drivers: Whether it’s your friends or family, making sure that they’re not distracted while driving can keep everyone safe.
- Set yourself as an example: If others see the steps you take to stop distracted driving, they’re more likely to follow in those footsteps.
Texting and driving may seem like a minor offense, but the law takes preserving life very seriously. Keep in mind that there are many consequences to distracted driving that you might not be able to take back.
Trust Experienced Orlando Auto Accident Attorneys with Your Case
We all make mistakes, and if you’re involved in an accident while distracted, look to the Umansky Law Firm for professional representation. We have more than 100 years of combined experience representing people accused of criminal offenses throughout Central Florida. If you’re facing a traffic offense, secure representation as soon as possible. Call our office or complete our contact form for a free consultation.