Distracted driving is a problem that continues to affect the health and well-being of all Florida motorists. Despite education about the danger of this behavior and other measures, statistics indicate that this problem is not going away any time soon. Between the years of 2013 to 2016 alone, the number of distraction-related accidents increased 26 percent.
Cell phones, in-car technology and other factors all contribute to driver distraction. No matter the type of distraction, drivers are responsible for the decisions they make behind the wheel, including those that could place others at risk. There are some who believe that state lawmakers should be doing more, such as passing legislation that will increase penalties against distracted drivers.
What can lawmakers do?
Many states have laws against drunk driving, allowing law enforcement to hold people accountable when caught texting and driving or engaging in another type of dangerous behavior. However, Florida lags behind with some of the weakest distracted driving penalties in the country. Consider the following:
- Florida laws currently have texting and driving as a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement cannot even write a ticket unless the driver is committing another traffic offense at the same time, such as speeding.
- While there have been several efforts over the last few years to pass laws and regulations against distracted driving, none have been successful.
- Recently, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers proposed a law to make distracted driving a primary offense in Florida.
While it may seem that stricter laws do little to curtail this problem, there is evidence to suggest that it would make roads safer. Studies indicate that bans on texting while driving actually lead to a discernible decrease in the number of distraction-related accidents. Texting while driving continues to be the most common and one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.
Holding liable parties accountable
There is no easy answer to the issue of distracted driving, but there are ways you can combat this issue. You have the right to hold liable drivers accountable for their irresponsible actions that caused you harm. If you believe that you may have grounds for a personal injury claim, you have no time to lose in seeking a positive resolution to your case.
Regardless of the laws in place in Florida or the lack of appropriate laws against distracted driving, you have the right to pursue compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.