Distracted driving is a tremendous national problem that has reached epidemic levels. The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, are concerned by the high rates of distracted driving nationally and locally. We have provided the following list of frequently asked questions concerning distracted driving in hopes of raising increased awareness to the tremendous problem of distracted driving and the penalties texting drivers may face in Florida:
What is considered distracted driving?
Distracted driving encompasses driving while engaging in any other activity that distracts your attention, eyes, or hands from the road. Distractions could include simple things like changing the radio station, inputting information in your GPS, or attending to a small child. It can also be more complex, such as texting while driving, taking pictures on your cell phone, or engaging in social media.
What is Florida's law on distracted driving?
Florida has enacted a ban on texting for all drivers. Florida's law, however, is a secondary enforcement law. This means that police officers and state troopers cannot pull over a driver on the basis of texting alone. Instead, officers can cite offenders of the texting ban if the pull the driver over for another offense.
Secondary enforcement laws are generally considered to be less effective than primary enforcement laws. Florida's law makes it difficult for law enforcement officers to stop texting drivers in their tracks because they must make the stop based on another factor, which will not always exist.
Recently, a group of lawmakers in Florida has made a push for reform of the state's texting while driving laws. A measure is expected to reach the legislature in 2016 which would make the texting ban a primary enforcement law. This would place Florida in line with the majority of other states across the country, which are moving towards stronger distracted driving laws.
I will be traveling out of state soon. Can I get a citation if I drive through a state that bans the use of cell phones, even if I am not aware of the law?
You can certainly be cited in another state if you violate that state's cell phone ban. Your lack of knowledge as to the law is not an excuse for violating the law. As such, it is important that you pay close attention to the laws of the state in which you plan to travel. Watch for road signs which will sometimes exist to alert you that you are driving into a state that bans the use of cell phones while driving.
I was hit by a texting driver. What should I do?
You should consult with a licensed attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Your attorney will assist you in gathering evidence that the driver was texting at the time of the accident. With your lawyer's assistance, you can obtain compensation for your injuries inflicted by the texting driver.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Assisting the Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or traffic accident in South Florida, the Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano are here to help. Our exceptional firm offers over 130 collective years of experience representing personal injury accident victims across South Florida. Our dedicated lawyer staff provides legal representation of unmatched excellence, evidenced by our array of awards. We received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and are ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.