Distracted driving related accidents in Florida have increased of 25% since 2012 despite the initiation of the “Just Put It Down” campaign that same year. Distracted driving includes any mental or physical activity that diverts a driver’s attention from safely operating a motor vehicle. Florida police officers are permitted to report distracted driving in any of the following categories:
- Distraction by electronic communication devices such as cell phones
- Distraction by other electronic devices such as DVD player and navigation devices
- Other distractions within the vehicle or outside of the vehicle
- General inattentiveness, like eating, reading or applying makeup
To aid in the national campaign to reduce distracted driving accidents the State of Florida Department of Transportation has joined hands with Geico Insurance Company by designating 65 Safe Phone Zones throughout the state in rest areas, turnpike service plazas and welcome centers. The unveiling took place in June of 2015 and is the largest such plan of any state in the US. The zones have been established as encouragement for drivers to pull off the road to make calls, read and enter text messages, and access mobile apps.
Between the designation of safe phone zones, and the augmentation of the “Just Put It Down” campaign, Florida is hoping to lead the nation in the reduction of distracted driver injuries and deaths. Currently Florida ranks the highest in the nation in distracted driving accidents. Statistics also show that a distracted driver is more likely to cause an accident than a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. Despite the dubious distinction of being the number one distracted driver state, the practice of texting is considered a secondary offense and cannot be used as the primary reason for a driver to be pulled over. Under Florida Statutes section 316.305 a driver can only be cited for texting while driving if involved in an accident or committing another offense like speeding or careless driving. New pending legislature, House Bill 929 and Senate Bill 1022, filed earlier this year, would ban all cell phone use as secondary offenses, with a few exceptions like GPS navigation and hands free device use.
It is a far too frequent situation where innocent people are injured or killed because of only a momentary distraction. A car traveling at sixty miles per hour travels the length of two football fields in the 5 seconds it takes just to read a text message. An estimated one in four car crashes involves the use of cell phones according to the National Safety Council. One benefit regarding the Florida crash report citing of distracted driving, is that the police report lightens the burden of evidence needed to win a civil case brought against the distracted driver
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If you are the victim of a crash involving a distracted driver, it is important to gather as much information from the scene as possible. Get a copy of the police report and the names and contact information of any witnesses. If you witness a crash and you saw that one of the drivers was driving while obviously distracted, it is important that you stop and provide your name and contact information to help determine the cause for police and victims.
If you are involved in any car accident it is important that you seek medical attention right away even if you have no symptoms. Then contact a distracted driver attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free evaluation of your case. Distracted driving is a serious public danger and the attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are dedicated to creating public awareness. They are also here to vehemently fight for the justice of anyone injured by this dangerous and negligent practice. Contact the attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free evaluation of your case. You could be entitled to a substantial cash settlement.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765