Texting is considered one of the most dangerous things you can do while behind the wheel of a vehicle. While sending a short text may only take your eyes off of the road for a few seconds, those few seconds are enough for you to hit other vehicles, pedestrians or anything else on or near the road.
Consider this: Almost one in every five traffic accidents are directly caused ty texting and other causes of distracted driving. To compare, only one in three traffic accidents are caused by a drunk driver. Each day, texting and driving kills and causes serious injuries to people around the nation and in the state of Florida.
While most drivers understand how dangerous texting and driving can be, 74% still admit to engaging in this activity while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the stats don’t seem to be enough to stop Floridians from using their devices behind the wheel.
As a result, there are some law enforcement experts that believe it is going to require a harsh crackdown on drivers who are caught texting while behind the wheel. Due to this, the penalties for driving and texting may increase in the near future for Floridians.
Texting and Driving Possibly Changing to a Primary Offense in Florida
Right now, texting is illegal in Florida. However, cops cannot pull you over just because they see that you are texting. You will only receive a ticket for this behavior if a police officer is also citing you for a primary traffic offense, such as speeding, running a red light, etc.
This means that if a police officer sees a driver texting while driving, but they are obeying all the other laws, they cannot take action.
There are only four other states that considered texting and driving a secondary offense, and in the near future there may only be three. Lawmakers in Florida want to change the policies so that the police can pull you over just for texting and driving.
There is a bill in the House of Representatives in Florida that would also double the fines for texting while in a school zone, as well as a bill that would make texting and driving a primary offense for any driver under the age of 18.
Every one of the new bills focuses on the largest perpetrators of driving and texting: teenagers. The issue of texting and driving is a huge one, especially with teenagers. And when you combine this with their inexperience on the road, it makes teenagers the most dangerous drivers.
Texting is Currently a Secondary Offense
It may still be a few months before Florida sees any significant changes in the law. If you are injured by a driver who is texting and driving or otherwise distracted, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney. They may be able to help you recover compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained.