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
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 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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