As most residents already know, Florida is one of the last states to pass a texting ban, despite widespread evidence that driving while texting can be deadly. Distracted driving, including driving while texting, is becoming a leading cause of traffic fatalities. According to a recent study, more teens die every year from texting and driving than from drunk-driving related accidents.
While most state legislative branches have already taken the initiative to create bans on texting while driving, Florida has still not passed a law against texting while driving. State texting bans vary, but most carry significant penalties for offenders. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are experienced in the investigation of texting while driving accidents and are dedicated to helping accident victims recover compensation.
In addition to bans against texting while driving, a new survey suggests that many drivers also want texters to pay higher insurance rates. The survey was commissioned by CarInsurance.com and found that motorists agreed that car insurance policies should penalize drivers who texted while driving. Evidence has shown that increasing insurance premiums after moving violations, including speeding, can be a deterrent for drivers.
Motorists surveyed agreed that texters should have to pay higher insurance premiums because it affects their ability to drive safely. Those interviewed in the survey also agreed that drivers should be penalized for additional risky behaviors including speeding and use of cell phone. The survey also revealed that over 50% of those surveyed believe that a discount should be offered to drivers who were willing to install a “cell-phone disabling device” in their vehicles. The device would be offered by an insurance company to track how fast a car travels. It would also give an insurance company insight into the behavior of the driver. In addition to texting, drivers are also distracted by children, music, eating, and pets.
Texting while driving is a particular risk to young drivers and motorists. If you have a young teen driver, it is important to keep them aware of the dangers. A recent study revealed that over 3,000 teen deaths per year are caused by texting while driving, while only 2,700 deaths were caused by drunk driving. Researchers believe this may be caused by the accessibility of cell phones rather than alcohol, but they are also in regular use throughout the day, where drinking usually only occurs on nights and weekends. Teens can also be distracted easily and are disadvantaged as inexperienced drivers.
Reports have indicated that over 50 percent of teens admit to texting while driving. Some researchers argue that texting while driving bans have not been especially effective and that incidences of texting while driving are high, regardless of whether it is against the law. The high numbers of teen deaths caused by distracted driving should be warning enough to other teens; however, many still will not learn until it is too late.
Texting while driving and distracted driving are real threats to drivers, passengers, and all motorists sharing the road. When you get behind the wheel, remember that drivers using cell phones are 4 times as likely to become involved in an accident. One of the primary reasons that driver distraction causes accidents is that drivers lose the ability to react quickly. Taking your eyes off the road for the amount of time it takes to read a text means traveling the entire length of a football field if you are going 55 miles per hour. That is a long way to travel without being able to see the road.
We hope the driver signs Florida’s texting ban into law.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Car Accidents and Teenage Fatalities on the Rise in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 30, 2013