Florida joined 38 states and the District of Columbia with a ban on texting while driving when Governor Rick Scott signed the legislation on Tuesday, May 28. The law, effective October 1, 2013, allows motorists to be ticketed for texting while driving if they are pulled over for other traffic offenses.
At the signing ceremony Governor Scott said, "This is going to save lives. This is going to make sure our teenagers are safe while driving, that they're not distracted while driving."
Michele Harris, Director of Traffic Safety Culture for AAA (American Automobile Association) said, "It's a good first step, but we have a lot more work that needs to be done on distracted driving."
Consumer Report June 2013 "The danger in the next lane" reports that the December 2012 Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of adult drivers found that state bans do help reduce driver distraction even though the number of deaths related to distracted driving is edging up. 71 percent of the 1,003 surveyed said they had either stopped or reduced texting, had used a handheld phone, or had operated a smart phone while driving in the previous year. More than half of the respondents said they did so because of state laws, up 44 percent from their previous survey two years ago.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. They further report that at any moment during the daylight hours about 660,000, 5 percent of U.S. drivers, are using cell phones or other electronic devices. Fatality estimates for the first nine months of 2012 show a 7 percent increase, the largest jump since the mid '70s.
Since distracted driving is the leading cause of many vehicle crashes and cell phone use and texting are two of the most common distractions, the Governors Highway Safety Association recommends that all drivers not use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, regardless of state laws.
Fort Myers Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. recommends, "Vehicle drivers need to stop distracted driving behaviors now, not wait for the new law to take effect. Accidents caused by distracted drivers can change lives forever."Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.