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Does Florida’s texting while driving law do enough?

| May 28, 2016 | Car Accidents |

As much as people like to think that distracted driving is on the decline with the use of hands-free devices and automobile features that seem to allow a driver to stay focused on the road, there are still far too many accidents that occur every year as a result of cellphone use, texting and mobile devices.

The state of Florida is one of the most lax states in the country when it comes to banning cellphone use and texting while driving. It does have a law on the books that bans all drivers from texting while driving, but it is considered a “secondary” offense, meaning that a police officer couldn’t pull over a driver purely for that offense. Another offense would have to be committed in conjunction with the driver texting in order for it to draw a ticket.

Florida also has laws, just like every other state, that cover general negligence and reckless driving. In this regard, distracted driving is covered. And yet, there is no primary offense or law that discourages the act — meaning those negligence and reckless driving laws only really matter once a distracted driving accident has already occurred. That isn’t effective. It is the preventative nature of primary texting bans and cellphone use bans that can change behaviors.

Our society is the way it is. Nearly everyone has a cellphone nowadays, and many of those people will choose to use these devices at inopportune, or downright dangerous, times. When a driver does this, he or she can be held liable when they get into an accident.