Texting and Driving in Florida

The Dangers of Texting and Driving in Florida

When you hear the familiar “ping” of a text notification, it’s tempting to check it out and send off a quick reply. After all, it only takes a few seconds. A few seconds can lead to disaster on the road, however. In five seconds, you can read or reply to a message. On the highway, you can cross the entire length of a football field in five seconds, which is plenty of time to cause an accident or cross into oncoming traffic.

Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Florida?

Texting while behind the wheel is illegal in Florida, but it is a secondary offense. This means that police officers cannot pull someone over just because they’re texting while driving. Drivers can only receive a ticket for texting and driving if officers first see another offense, such as speeding or improperly changing lanes. Only three other states currently list texting and driving as a secondary offense. Every other state has made it a primary offense. There have been several legislative efforts to make texting on the road a primary offense, which would allow police officers to pull over drivers after observing them text messaging. To date, none have been successful with the state legislature.

The Risks of Texting While Driving

Texting is often considered one of the most dangerous driving distractions. Presently, Florida rates second in distracted driving. Only Louisiana has more distracted drivers.

 

Beyond being illegal, texting and driving puts drivers and others on the roadways at serious risk. Distracted driving leads to speeding, aggressive and sudden turns, hard braking, and sudden acceleration. While other distractions can keep drivers’ eyes, hands, and/or mind engaged, texting captures drivers’ attention on all three fronts.

Texting and Driving in Florida

 

Texting behind the wheel can increase your risk of causing an accident. It also boosts your likelihood of being involved in a near-miss.

Accidents Caused by Texting and Driving

There’s no doubt that texting is a serious factor in vehicular accidents. In Florida, deaths caused by distracted driving have jumped 25% since 2013. In 2017, there were over 200 distracted driving deaths in Florida.

The fallout of a texting and driving accident can last years. As the victim of a crash, you could suffer from serious injuries and endure lost wages, as well as be left with expensive vehicle repair bills. Although 97% of Americans know that texting and driving is dangerous, one in three drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 still reads and writes messages while driving.

Get Help Immediately If You’re Involved in an Accident

With texting and driving on the rise, you might find yourself involved in a distracted driving accident. Having the right representation is key, since a serious crash can have long-lasting physical, mental, and financial effects. If you or someone you love is the victim of a texting and driving accident, contact Zimmet & Zimmet at (386) 210-7989.

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Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

The Critical Importance of Car Seats and Booster Seats

Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

True Cost of Nursing Home AbuseWhen someone’s conduct falls below the generally accepted standard of care, it’s called negligence.  In personal injury cases, where negligence must be proven in order to win the case, one’s negligence must be tied to a subsequent injury.

To prove negligence, 3 elements must be present:

  • A duty of care
  • A breach of that duty of care
  • That damages occurred as a result of this breach of duty of care

Duty of Care

The duty of care is an obligation to look out for others.  So, for example, when motorists get behind the wheel, they have a duty of care to be mindful of other people. This includes:

  • Passengers in their own vehicle
  • Other motorists
  • Passengers in other cars
  • Bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorcyclists
  • People in nearby buildings

Similarly, when someone owns a retail business or a restaurant, they have a duty of care to keep the parking lot in safe condition.  Sinkholes must be filled, and uneven pavement must be fixed or, at the very minimum, clearly marked.  

A Breach of the Duty of Care

A breach in the duty of care occurs when someone doesn’t live up to what’s expected of them.  Say that a motorist is so engrossed in reading email while driving that he fails to notice a stoplight has turned red, this is considered a breach in the duty of care the driver owes to others.  If the owner of a business fails to put up warning signs and block off a hole in the parking lot, this too could be considered a breach in the duty of care.

Damages

“Damages” is a legal term that covers costs associated with the breach of the duty of care. If someone is hit by a driver who runs a red light, damages may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering and
  • Property damage

Imagine that the person who was hit is taken to the hospital by ambulance, treated in the ER, and then admitted to the hospital for several days.  These costs fall under the legal umbrella of damages.

Now, imagine that while in the hospital, the victim’s doctor discovers a small group of precancerous skin cells and performs a procedure to remove them.  These precancerous cells were not the direct result of the accident, nor was the accident the proximate cause of the skin cells becoming precancerous.  As such, the procedure would not be included in the damages caused by the driver’s negligence.

Why Understanding Negligence Is Critical

Understanding the legal concept of “negligence” is critical when evaluating the strength of a personal injury case.  When one or more of the three elements of negligence is missing, or when the facts aren’t clear, the case may be too weak to win.  Consequently, it is critical to have an attorney well versed in personal injury law, as well as the nuances of negligence, review the facts surrounding the case.

At Zimmet & Zimmet, we pride ourselves in providing personalized attention to each of our clients.  We work hard to get results that put our clients in the best position to heal and move forward.  Contact us today at (386) 255-6400 today for a free consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you.

Car Seats

The Critical Importance of Car Seats and Booster Seats

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. In 2015 alone, 663 children 12 and under were killed in car crashes. Of those cases where the facts were known, a full 35 % of those children were not protected by a restraint of some kind.

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