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Three Proposed Bills Aim to Curb Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Plantation and Elsewhere

Three bills are making their way through state legislature and could potentially stop drivers in the state of Florida from texting behind the wheel, according to NBC2. Florida is one of the few states left that have no restriction of drivers using cell phones or text messaging devices behind the wheel. Since January, there have been more than 3,000 distraction-related car accidents in Plantation and elsewhere that were blamed on drivers who were using text messaging devices.

According to a recent Mason-Dixon Poll, nearly 95 percent of the 300 who were surveyed expressed support for this type of ban. Only about 3 percent were against it and the remaining 3 percent were indifferent.

Our Plantation car accident attorneys understand that nearly half a million accidents are the result of distracted driving every year across the U.S. Statistics conclude that one in every five accidents involves the use of a cell phone. These accidents have recently become so frequent that the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) started tracking the accident data for electronic distraction factors at the beginning of this year. While more than 3,000 accidents reported the fault of distractions on various electronic devices, nearly 150 were specifically blamed on text messaging at the wheel.

Those statistics mean that these distraction-related traffic accidents account for about 2 percent of the total number of accidents we’ve seen so far in 2011 so far, but officials say that is way too high for such a preventable instance.

“Texting has no place in a vehicle. It’s a huge distraction, it takes your focus, it takes your vision off the roadway,” said FHP Lieutenant Greg Bueno.

Some travel experts believe that these statistics are only that low because most drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident are hesitant to admit that they were in fact distracted. Bueno says that that’s a top reason why this type of ban would be difficult to enforce. If you look just for a couple of second, a series of events can happen in that short time, including a fatal accident, he adds.

The three bills aiming to prohibit texting behind the wheel are still caught up in subcommittee. There have been no further details regarding when the bills will be discussed next.

In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distraction-related accidents accounted for nearly 20 percent of all of the fatal accidents in the U.S., meaning that this careless behavior took the lives of nearly 6,000 people and injured another estimated 520,000.

Although there may be no laws in the books that currently prohibit drivers in the state from texting at the wheel, drivers are still asked to practice good moral standards and to curb distractions on your own free will.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC are experienced and dedicated lawyers who assist car accident victims and their families in Plantation, Oakland Park, Hallandale Beach, Weston, Miami and Tamarac. Call 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential appointment.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA and Ad Council Release New PSA Targeting Teens’ Distracted Driving Accidents in Sunrise and Elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog November 16, 2011

Dr. Val Jones Discusses Nighttime Car Accidents in Oakland Park and Elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, November 11, 2011

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