Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes in school zones and construction zones. Both areas require drivers to slow down and pay attention. Sadly, many Florida drivers fail to do so.
Collisions with pedestrians and rear-end collisions are common in these areas. Now, they have been designated as "hands-free zones." According to News 6, drivers can be pulled over and ticked for using cellphones in hands-free zones. The law took effect in October 2019. Drivers must have their cellphones mounted and connected through a hands-free device.
Texting and driving is also now a primary offense in all areas. The law officially went into effect on July 1, 2019, but police officers didn't begin issuing citations until January 1, 2020.
First-time violators may be fined $30 if caught. Second time and subsequent violators could be fined $60 and have three points added to their driving record.
Will the new laws crack down on distracted drivers?
While there is currently no universal cellphone ban for Florida drivers, the new law is a step in the right direction. Florida drivers can still type, send, and read texts while stopped at red lights, however. They can also program GPS navigation while driving. What's worse, they can potentially get away with using cellphones for non-text purposes.
Many other states have prohibited all handling of cellphones while driving. Florida has yet to do so. Despite the current traffic laws, you could be sharing the road with a distracted driver at any given moment. According to federal estimates, there are more than 800,000 distracted drivers on the road at any given moment during the daylight hours.
Of course, there are other forms of distracted driving that will likely never be prohibited. This includes multitasking, eating, drinking, using infotainment features, taking care of hygiene, and even daydreaming. All of these actions take drivers' eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and attention away from driving.
What do I do if I was hurt in a distracted driving crash?
There is no such thing as a skilled distracted driver. More than 3,000 people die each year due to distracted driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's very unlikely that any of the drivers who caused those deaths believed that their actions would lead to a catastrophe.
If you sustained an injury, or lost a loved one, in a distracted driving collision, you have the right to take legal action. The Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC serves clients in Longwood and the greater Orlando area. We can help you explore your legal options and devise a winning legal strategy. Contact us online to find out how.