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Lack of distracted driving laws a concern for Florida drivers

Cell phone use and texting are common reasons for accidents that occur because of distracted driving. Florida has yet to ban either of these distractions while driving which is cause for concern to <a href=""<st. Lucie car accident attorneys , and our staff in West Palm and Fort Lauderdale who handle these types of cases regularly.

The National Safety Council is encouraging public officials to listen to the public, which it says supports a cell phone ban for drivers. In a recent survey, more than half of voters thought banning cell phone use would make roadways safer. They also reported that two-thirds of the voters want driver cell phone use banned completely — including hands-free devices.

The NSC put together a model to help determine how cell phone use can be attributed to traffic crashes. The module proposed that 1.4 million traffic accidents involved cell phone use in 2008. It is estimated that anywhere from 3%-18% of these accidents were because of the use of text messaging. At this point it is difficult to measure exactly how much texting is a factor as opposed to just talking on the cell phone. The one thing they do know is that the number of cell phone operators has increased substantially over the last few years.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that Florida is one of very few states that currently allows drivers to use cell phones while driving. Meaning no hands free device is needed and texting is permitted while driving. Cell phone and texting bills have been brought to legislature but nothing has passed to date. Florida Governor Crist has stated he will sign a ban on text messaging once it gets passed through legislature.

The following are common distractions we may have in the car in addition to cell phone use and tips to avoid them:

-Eating and drinking: refrain from holding food or beverages in your lap in order to avoid spilling them.

-Looking at a map or fixing the GPS: make occasional stops so that you can re-group on directions or put in a different address when needed.

-Adjusting knobs or changing a CD: have someone else make the adjustments or stop at a rest stop if you don’t have devices on your steering will to adjust volume and channel.

If you experience a car accident while driving in West Palm Beach, Coral Gables, Port St. Lucie, or surrounding areas, call the Law Offices of Freeman & Mallard for legal representation. For a free consultation call 800-529-2368.

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