Officers Issue Few Citations for Texting While Driving Offenses
Not even a year after Florida’s ban on texting while driving was signed by Governor Rick Scott, the police department finds it has only issued just over a thousand citations for the offense.
This isn’t due to an increase in safe driving practices among the state’s teens, however. The ban on texting is only enforceable when police officers pull drivers over for another violation, such as speeding. Officers complain that they see teens texting while driving all the time, but cannot do anything about it.
Only four other states haven’t deemed texting while driving a primary offense. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that one person was injured or killed every 75 seconds in an accident involving a distracted driver in 2012, and texting seems to be the most common distraction. Such numbers have decreased slightly since most of the nation’s states began introducing laws specifically banning texting or other distracting practices, but cell phone usage behind the wheel still remains a dangerous temptation, particularly for teens.
Drivers in their teens or early 20s make a significant portion of the distracted drivers that cause fatal crashes in the U.S. every year, and it is estimated that a large percentage of them were distracted by their phones at the time of the crash. Using your phone, even to dial a few numbers rather than to type out a full text message, takes your eyes off the road for several seconds. A few seconds is all it takes for something unexpected to cross your path or for road conditions to worsen. You can simply even lose control of the vehicle during that much time.
Even headsets haven’t been proven to reduce the amount of distraction. Experts theorize that the act of communicating with someone not in the car with you is a significant distractor, and recommend you just keep your attention on the road whenever behind the wheel to prevent causing an accident, injury or death.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, contact an Orlando-area car accident attorney at Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A.