The New Texting and Driving Law — Will It Work?

Seems like it should go without saying that drivers need to pay attention to the road, rather than to allow themselves to be distracted by technology or any other interferences in their car while operating a motor vehicle - a lethal weapon if not keep under proper control. Everyone knows that using the cell phone is the biggest culprit of distracted driving and most often the cause of accidents.

Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic around the country. We need to emphasize awareness of distracted driving and encourage car manufacturers to impose regulations to make the roads safer for everyone. Although texting is a primary facilitator of distracted driving, car technology is also responsible for accidents caused by distracted driving.

In Florida on May 17, 2019, Governor DeSantis signed a bill in law making texting while driving a primary offense in the State of Florida. The law went into effect on July 1, 2019. However, there are already many complaining that there are no real penalties behind violation of the law. The first violation is a non-moving offense with no points against the license. The second violation is a moving violation with 3 points assessed to the driver’s record. It is expected that in most circumstances, law enforcement will issue warnings through December 31, 2019 to provide drivers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the law.

Unfortunately for those on the roadway, there are already many loopholes in the law that may prevent drivers from receiving citations and points on their license. Law enforcement must have proof that a driver was illegally texting and driving. This would require checking incoming and outgoing texts. In order for an officer to get this proof, the driver must be informed by the officer that by law the driver has the right to refuse to turn over their phone to law enforcement if the officer asks for it. Then officer must then ask the driver if they understand their rights, at which point the driver can refuse to turn over the phone. Once the driver has refused to turn over the phone, the stop is ended and the driver is free to leave. In addition, drivers are permitted to text while at a red light or stop sign.

It should not be hard to believe that there is a bigger likelihood that drivers who text while they are driving veer out of their own lanes significantly more often than drivers who don’t text and drive. This increases the chances of a collision with oncoming traffic or drivers in another lane being hit by someone who is texting and driving.

Texting and the use of a non-hands free cell phone are probably the two most frequent causes for accidents occurred due to distracted driving. But, there are other things that drivers do while operating a motor vehicle that constitute distracted driving and that can cause an accident:

  1. Adjusting climate control in the vehicle
  2. Drinking any beverage, not just alcohol
  3. Using ear buds - they can disrupt your ability to hear
  4. Eating
  5. Grooming yourself - this includes combing your hair, applying make-up, shaving
  6. Distractions by other passengers in the vehicle - getting involved in deep conversation can break your concentration thereby causing you to be distracted from the roadway and other traffic
  7. Adjusting or setting your GPS
  8. Changing or setting radio stations
  9. Rubber necking when you see an accident
  10. Reading while driving - some drivers will have a book or newspaper resting on their steering wheel

Have you been injured in an accident due to a distracted driver? Did you know that cell phone records can be used to prove that the at-fault driver was using their cell phone to talk or text while operating their car on the roadway?

To really protect yourself and your future after a vehicular accident because the other driver was texting and driving, you need to retain the services of a law firm that has represented injured clients and knows how to deal with insurance carriers.

The Plotnick Law Firm will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. We will make sure that the insurance company for the at-fault party does not have the opportunity to take advantage of you and settle your claim for a nominal amount which is likely significantly less than what your case is really worth.

If you are injured in an accident, contact Marc Plotnick, Esquire at the Plotnick Law Firm to represent you. And when the adverse insurance company calls you to settle with you for $500, you can tell them call my attorneys – Plotnick Law Firm at 1-727-577-3300. We are here to help!