The speed limit on I-75 in 70 miles per hour. If you’re obeying the speed limit, you’re traveling at 103 feet a second. If you’re text messaging behind the wheel, you’re missing a lot of the action. The average text message takes about 4 seconds to send/receive. During this time, you can travel more than the length of a football field without ever setting your yes on the road.
According to the Sun Sentinel, text messaging behind the wheel causes more than 100,000 crashes in the state of Florida. Distracted driving took the lives of more than 3,330 people in the U.S. in 2011. Still, Florida drivers are allowed to put their lives at risk by text messaging or otherwise using their smartphone behind the wheel. Well, that’s about to change if Sen. Maria Sachs gets her way!
Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand that Sen. Sachs recently announced her sponsorship of a new bill to ban cell phone use and text messaging for drivers. The bill will be up for discussion in the upcoming Legislature.
“We’re going to put a stop to it,” said state Sen. Maria Sachs. “There’s going to be no more distracted driving in the state of Florida.” She says it’s time to put a stop to this dangerous driving behavior and adds that it’s a move that’s going to help to save lives. Just like alcohol and driving, texting while driving does not mix.
She’s not the only one supporting the bill either. Also behind it is Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
The bill would make it illegal to use a hand-held device while driving. Your first ticket is going to cost you $100. Any after that are going to be a lot more expensive. With any of these violations, you’re not going to get any points on your driver’s license though.
Sachs is expecting this bill to go over well with both Republicans and Democrats at this spring’s legislative session.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting drivers are nearly 25 times more likely to get into a car accident. Still, Florida continues to be one of only six states that doesn’t have this law on the books.
To get an idea of just how serious a problem text messaging is becoming, consider this: In the month of June 2011, there were more than 195 billion text messages sent or received in the United States. That’s up about 50 percent from the same month of 2009.
Although this law may not be in effect just yet, drivers are asked to be cautious out there. You should never take your eyes off of the road regardless of the reason, but especially for a text message. No message is worth losing a life.
Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm that is dedicated to helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Distracted Driving a Top Accident Cause to Avoid in 2013, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 29, 2012