As we recently reported on our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, Florida is still one of the few states left in the U.S. that hasn’t enacted any laws to keep drivers from using cell phones or text messaging devices at the wheel. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Florida has zero laws on the books, so Florida drivers can legally call and text while driving as much as they’d like — although such behavior is ill-advised. As Florida lawmakers continue to propose measures to help to halt these types of distractions that cause thousands of accidents every year, they continue to be shot down.
This is the first of a six-part blog we will be writing to give you information you need to help make Florida roadways safer for everyone. Each blog entry will be discussing another way you can fulfill your New Year’s resolution to make our roads safer. Throughout this entry, we will be discussing the dangers of distracted driving.
As we start the New Year, our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are asking drivers to honor road safety by willingly curbing distractions at the wheel. In 2010, there were about 3,100 people who died because of distraction-related car accidents in the country.
“We’re all on the roads, we all see what’s going on. It’s crazy out there,” said Marc Cannon of AutoNation, a Ford Lauderdale-based auto retailer, which also supports driver distraction bans. “We need to do something.”
Recently, the University of Miami joined up with the Florida Department of Transportation’s anti-distraction campaign, “Put It Down,” to help to get drivers to hang up the phone behind the wheel. FDOT’s District Six teamed up with the University of Miami to help to educate drivers in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties about the risks and consequences associated with distracted driving. While all drivers are urged to put down the phone behind the wheel, this campaign specifically targets drivers ages 16- to 24-years-old. These drivers are already have higher accident rates than older drivers. Throw in the dangers of cell phones and their risks skyrocket. Through the campaign, Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, the University of Miami and Miami-Dade County Public Schools were included in the anti-distraction activities. Joining UM and FDOT was South Florida Commuter Services, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.
“When you’re behind the wheel, your focus should be on the road and getting where you need to be safely,” said says District Six Secretary Gus Pego.
Whenever you’re on the road, look around and you’re sure to find numerous drivers talking on cell phones, text messaging, surfing the web and engaging in other dangerous distractions. According to recent studies, nearly 700,000 drivers are talking on a cell phone on our roadways at any given moment. Please head into 2012 with a positive attitude and a devotion to make safer roadways and to curb distractions to avoid potentially fatal car accidents. Happy New Year!
If you or one of the newly-licensed drivers in your life has been injured in a distraction-related car accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to discuss your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-529-2368.
More Blog Entries:
Hands-Free Just as Dangerous as Hand-Held Cell Phones in Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Riviera and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 30, 2011
Parents May Soon Have a New Way to be Alerted of Teen Car Accidents in Wellington and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 28, 2011