We’ve written about distracted driving in the past. According to statistics published by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2018 in St. Lucie County (Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie) there were more than 1,000 distracted driving accident with 19 of them resulting in incapacitating injuries.
Of all the potential distracted driving behaviors (eating, unsecured pets, putting on makeup, fiddling with the radio), texting while driving is the absolute worse distracted driving behavior of all. Texting while driving requires you to take your eyes off the road and peer down into a mobile phone, and take your hands off the wheel, and to simultaneously distract your cognitive skills while you think about what you are reading or are going to write. Perception and reaction time are severely affected and when drivers aren’t focusing on the road, their ability to stop or steer to avoid a crash are severely impaired.
Up until Summer of 2019 in Florida, police were only citing drivers who were texting behind the wheel if they are stopped for other reasons like speeding, disregarding a traffic sign, etc. However in May 2019 Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed a bill which shifted texting while driving from a “secondary” offense to a “primary” offense. This means that the police can now pull over motorists for texting while driving. Desantis said that in 2016, Florida had nearly 50,000 accidents caused by distracted driving resulting in 233 deaths.
There are concerns that making texting while driving a “primary” offense could lead to increased racial profiling of minorities. Those concerns are real and should not be lightly dismissed. At the same time, it seems that people have become so addicted to their smart phones that they are willing to risk life and limb to send a text or browse social media while driving, and without this kind of enforcement, the problem seems likely to get worse.
Distracted driving accidents can be difficult cases. Proving your injury resulted as the result of another driver’s texting or emailing while driving requires investigation by an experienced attorney.
Injury attorney Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles Auto Accident cases involving distracted driving serving Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas.
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If you, a family member or a friend have suffered a personal injury a personal injury in an auto accident, or have questions you should contact injury attorney Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806.