Ever since cell phones gave us the ability to send text messages, and phone service providers began offering unlimited texting as a primary service, the problem of motorists who are texting while driving has become an increasingly challenging issue. According to the National Safety Council, there are more than 1.6 million accidents caused by texting while driving in the United States each year. As a result of those accidents, there are 390,000 injuries, and some resulted in death.
It’s evident that texting while driving is not a minor concern. In fact, most experts believe it’s becoming more dangerous than drunk driving. Until recently, penalties for texting while driving have been difficult to enforce since it’s been a secondary offense in Florida, meaning law enforcement could not pull over a driver solely for texting while driving. Now, however, Florida has joined other states in banning texting while driving altogether to help prevent future accidents, injury, and loss of life.
In May 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law into effect that banned texting while driving. The ban was implemented after a majority of other states also prohibited this practice. DeSantis noted that in 2016, more than 50,000 accidents occurred in Florida as a result of texting while driving and that those accidents caused more than 200 deaths.
Florida’s new law took effect in July. However, authorities will issue warnings the first time drivers get pulled over for violating this law. This initial warning period will give authorities time to get the word out to the public about the new law. Once the law is fully in effect come January, there will be penalties for getting caught texting while driving. Penalties will include a $30 fine for the first offense and a $60 fine for the second.
Come January, if you don’t want to be caught red-handed texting while driving, here are some strategies for developing safer driving habits:
Turn your phone on silent
Enable automatic responses for texts while driving
Place your phone in the backseat, out of reach
Use a Bluetooth enabled device to make calls in case of an emergency
If you’re able to create new habits for cell phone use while in the car, you will create a safer atmosphere on the road, for both you and other drivers.
Although there are plenty of viable tactics for avoiding distracted driving, accidents are still going to happen. When they do, you can turn to the trusted attorneys at The Law Offices of McCullough and Leboff in Broward County, Florida. We understand that you’re likely experiencing an abundance of emotions while trying to navigate your current situation and we want to help.
At The Law Offices of McCullough and Leboff, we have 48 years of experience in car accident and personal injury cases. We can help you get the settlement you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to meeting with you soon.