Texting and driving is a dangerous practice that has become a major concern in Florida. One of the biggest dangers of texting and driving is that it takes the driver's attention away from the road. When a driver is texting, they are not looking at the road, and they may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid an accident. This can result in serious injuries or even death for the driver, passengers, and other people on the road.
Moreover, texting and driving is particularly dangerous in Florida because it is a popular tourist destination with a high volume of traffic. With many visitors unfamiliar with the roads and driving conditions, distracted driving can lead to even more accidents and injuries. Furthermore, Florida is prone to severe weather conditions such as heavy rain and storms, making it even more important for drivers to pay attention to the road and avoid distractions.
To prevent accidents caused by texting and driving, it is important for all drivers to be aware of the dangers and to resist the urge to use their phones while behind the wheel. If a driver must send a text, the driver should pull over to a safe location or wait until they have reached their destination. When a driver drives while texting, that driver puts us and our families at risk of a serious or fatal crash. If sued in Florida, that driver will almost certainly be held liable for the damage he or she causes as a result texting while driving.
Is Texting and Driving Illegal in Florida?
Texting and driving is illegal in Florida. Florida's "Wireless Communications While Driving" law prohibits drivers from texting, emailing, and instant messaging while operating a vehicle. This law went into effect on July 1, 2019.
It is a primary offense, which means that a law enforcement officer can pull over a driver solely for texting while driving. Violating this law can result in a fine and points on the driver's license. The penalties for texting while driving in Florida are as follows:
- First offense: $30 fine
- Second offense (within five years): $60 fine and 3 points on the driver's license
- Any subsequent offense: $60 fine and 3 points on the driver's license
If a driver causes an accident while texting, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result.
Florida Texting and Driving Statistics
Florida has seen a significant increase in accidents caused by texting and driving in recent years. Here are some statistics that highlight the severity of the problem:
- According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 48,621 crashes involving distracted driving in 2021. Of those, 2,819 were attributed to texting while driving.
- In 2020, distracted driving was a contributing factor in 8,076 crashes in Florida. These crashes resulted in 3,040 injuries and 264 fatalities.
- In 2019, Florida enacted a law making it illegal to text while driving. Despite this, distracted driving continues to be a significant problem on Florida roads.
- A study conducted by EverQuote, an online insurance marketplace, found that Florida has the second-highest rate of distracted driving in the United States. The study analyzed data from over two million drivers and found that 92% of Florida drivers reported using their phones while driving.
- The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 84% of drivers admit to engaging in some form of distracted driving, including texting, eating, and adjusting the radio.
The information above demonstrates the need for increased awareness and enforcement of Florida's distracted driving laws. By cracking down on texting and driving, Florida can help to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on its roads. It is important for all drivers to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and to prioritize safety when behind the wheel.
What if I Was in an Accident with a Driver That Was Texting While Driving?
If you were in an accident in Florida that was caused by a driver who was texting while driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are the steps you should take:
- Call 911: If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, call 911 immediately to get medical help.
- Document the Accident: Take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to the vehicles involved. Get the contact information of any witnesses, as well as the other driver's insurance information.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't feel injured right away, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent.
- Contact an Attorney: It is important to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling car accident cases, especially if the other driver was texting while driving. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- File an Insurance Claim: Contact your own insurance company to report the accident and start the claims process. If the other driver is found to be at fault, their insurance company may be responsible for compensating you. However, be very careful what you say to any insurance company, including your own. Insurance companies are in the business of paying out as little money as possible.
- File a Lawsuit: If the insurance company does not offer you fair compensation, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover damages. An attorney can help you with this process.
In Florida, texting while driving is illegal, so if the other driver was texting at the time of the accident, it may be easier to prove that they were at fault. It is important to take action as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Do You Prove Another Driver Was Texting at the Time of an Accident?
Proving that another driver was texting at the time of an accident can be challenging, but there are several methods that can be used to establish liability. Here are some of the ways to prove that the other driver was texting at the time of the accident:
If there were any witnesses to the accident, they may be able to testify that they saw the other driver using their phone at the time of the crash.
The police report may contain information about whether the other driver was texting at the time of the accident. The report may include statements from witnesses, as well as the officer's own observations.
Phone records can be used to show whether the other driver was texting or using their phone at the time of the accident. These records can be obtained through a subpoena or court order.
If the accident was captured on a dashcam or surveillance camera, the footage may show whether the other driver was using their phone at the time of the crash.
Admission of Fault
If the other driver admits to texting or using their phone at the time of the accident, this can be used as evidence of liability.
It is important to note that even if it is not possible to prove that the other driver was texting at the time of the accident, they may still be held liable if they were engaging in other forms of distracted driving. It is always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine the best course of action in your specific case.
Contact an Experienced Florida Injury Lawyer for Your FREE Legal Consultation
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another party, you should speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. You can contact us online or you can call our Orlando, Florida law office at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your consultation.If you need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.