With Safety Officials Calling For Tougher Stance Against Distracted Driving, Florida Lawmakers May Follow Their Lead
At this time, there are no restrictions against cell phone use or texting while driving in the state of Florida. This however, may change, as state legislatures are scheduled to get together early next year to consider a possible ban on texting.
Supporters of a texting while driving prohibition may get the extra boost they need following the recent recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that all cell phone use while driving—unless the situation is an emergency—be prohibited. Although the NTSB cannot make law, its recommendations are strongly considered by lawmakers.
The safety board has even called distracted drivers a threat to public safety, and although there are other distracted driving behaviors that can also lead to car crashes, talking on a cell phone and texting while driving appear to be two habits that many people can’t seem to quit. In South Florida, our Miami personal injury law firm represents clients injured or who have lost loved ones in all types of traffic crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving played a role in at least 3,092 US motor vehicle crashes last year. The federal safety agency recently released its findings from its first national survey tracking the public’s awareness, attitudes, and behavior regarding texting, cell phones, and driver decisions.
6,002 adult respondents (18 and older) took part in the phone survey. Interviews took place during the last two months of 2010. Per the survey’s findings:
• Most motorists don’t like it when other drivers text and drive, but they think that they are safe when they are the ones doing it.
• Almost 1 out of 100 drivers can be found using a handheld device to text, e-mail, or engage in some other activity at any given moment of the day.
• Most drivers don’t see anything wrong with answering a phone while operating a motor vehicle.
• More than half of those who were surveyed don’t believe that making a call with a cell phone impacts their driving abilities.
• About 25% of those surveyed felt the same way about texting while driving.
• About half of drivers age 21-24 admit that they’ve e-mailed or texted while operating a motor vehicle.
Texting and driving are not the only distracted driving behaviors that can cause injury or death. Reading a book or magazine, surfing the Internet, inputting information onto your navigation system, putting on makeup, and even eating have been known to cause motor vehicle collisions.
Distracted Driving, National Safety Council
More Blog Posts:
NHTSA Reports 2,445 Florida Traffic Deaths in 2010, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, December 8, 2011
Teen Drivers Continue to Text Despite Knowing the Dangers, Reports Liberty Mutual and SADD Study, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, October 20, 2011
Florida Products Liability: Bill Could Make It Harder for Victims to Win Damages from Auto Manufacturers, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, May 4, 2011