As of October 1, 2013, texting while driving became officially illegal in Florida.
The Florida texting and driving ban makes it a secondary offense, which means drivers must first be cited for another infraction, such as careless driving or speeding. Drivers who are stopped in traffic or sitting at red lights will still be permitted to text.
What are the Penalties in Florida?
For a first offense, the driver must pay a $30 fine and court costs. Drivers must pay $60 and court costs if they receive a second ticket.
Texting and Driving Statistics
The United States Government’s website dedicated to distracted driving states that people who text are 23 times more likely to crash than those who don’t. More than 300,000 people were injured or killed nationwide in 2011 because of distracted driving, of which texting played a significant part. Texting is dangerous because it involves the complete attention of the driver, including visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.
Some drivers don’t realize that in the four to six seconds it takes to send a text message, a car traveling at highway speed covers the entire length of a football field. They may also not realize that one in nine teenage drivers who died in crashes in 2010 were distracted and that one in five of those were texting.
Concentration is the Cure
If you pay attention while driving, you’ll not only keep yourself safe but also others. If you don’t, you stand to lose much more than a lousy $30. Safety measures include:
Turn the phone off while driving
Make sure you’re well rested before getting behind the wheel
Keep your mind on the road and the cars around you
If This Has Happened to You, Call Us Today for a No-Obligation Consultation
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a distracted driver, especially a driver who was texting, a Tampa car accident lawyer might be able to help. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer free consultations, so call them today at 1-800-753-5203.