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Texting and Driving

texting and drivingIt's hard - or impossible - to imagine our lives without cell phones. We need to be connected to family, friends and business contacts 24/7.

However, despite laws that attempt to curb their use, cell phone use is still a major contributor to car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in the U.S. with more than 431,000 injured in crashes involving a distracted driver (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Driving while distracted with cellphones and other electronic devices is so widespread that 660,000 American drivers are using them every moment during daylight hours.

Florida Laws on Cell Phone Use

Currently, there are no restrictions on Florida drivers for hand-held use of cell phones.

But Florida law does prohibit texting while driving. This ban includes entering or reading data into devices.

However, this law is secondary in our state. This means that the police must pull you over for another violation - such as failure to stop at a stop sign - before they can charge you for texting while driving.

Texting Distracts a Driver 3 Ways

Any activity can be distracting to a driver, even something as routine as talking to a passenger or drinking coffee. But texting while driving involves 3 types of distractions:

  • Manual - one or both hands are off the wheel,
  • Visual - eyes are not on the road, and
  • Cognitive - thinking of something other than driving

Here is a very visual example of how easily texting distracts a driver: In a car traveling at 55 mph, the driver can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send a text (about 5 seconds). That's a huge distance for the driver's eyes to be off the road.

Help Your Teenager Understand the Dangers of Texting and Driving

First of all, be a responsible role model for your teen. Never text while driving, including peeking at a text, and always comply with cell phone laws.

Discuss this important subject with your teen, including:

  • Using a hands-free phone or one with speech recognition where legal.
  • Pull off the road - only where it is safe - to receive or send a text. Better yet, put your cell phone in the back seat until you arrive at your destination.
  • Establish ground rules with your teenager about car and cell phone use. Let them know the dangers of driving distractions like passengers, loud music and phone calls.

Check out National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information including a section written specifically for teen drivers and a driving pledge.

Let Us Know if We can Help With any Type of Accident

If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or any other type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys have the right expertise to fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Diana Santa Maria, personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.

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