The FHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) reports over 48,000 collisions involving distracted drivers happen in the state annually. These accidents result in about 300 fatalities and over 2,700 serious injuries. The state is tightening up distracted driving laws to curtail these consequences. We at JustCallMoe have used our extensive legal experience to develop this guide to help you if you’re involved in a distracted driving accident.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is operating a motor vehicle as you’re distracted by a secondary activity. The secondary activities include grooming, eating, checking email, adjusting music players, reading, posting to social platforms, or watching a video. Such distractions pose a risk to your life or property and those of others. For example, distractions can impede one’s stopping or reaction capabilities. Distracted driving victims should consult with an attorney before suing for damages.
Distracted Driving Laws in Florida
Florida Statutes 316.306 prohibits taking a phone call while driving through a work zone, school zone, or school crossing. Violation of this law is a moving traffic violation. Its penalty is a $30 fine plus costs for the first offense and a $60 base fine plus court costs and other related fees for the second offense. Enforcement officers may also assess three assessment points against the distracted driver’s license.
The introduction of Florida Statutes 316.305 in 2019 made texting while driving an offense. The Wireless Communications While Driving Law allows law enforcement officers in Florida to stop and ticket drivers for typing or texting on their phones while driving. They can also pull drivers over if they compose an email or enter symbols, numbers, or letters into a wireless gadget for any reason.
Exceptions for Texting While Driving Rules
Florida’s texting while driving ban has some exceptions, including:
- law enforcement personnel who use phones and computers while working
- emergency responders like firefighters and EMTs who use their devices while working
- getting safety information like traffic and weather alerts
- data used by the car
- listening to the radio
- autonomous vehicle technology
- Bluetooth and other communications if you can utilize them without reading or texting
- GPS navigation systems
What Are One’s Rights If A Distracted Driver Hurts Them?
You can seek financial compensation if you’re hurt due to a distracted driver. Distracted driving victims should consult with an attorney before suing for damages. Negligent drivers can pay for the damage they cause. The car accident victims can engage an attorney to bring a distracted driving case. Hiring a professional and reliable lawyer can help ensure that you are compensated for economic and non-economic damages. The lawyer will guide you through the process and advise you as to all the types of damages that you may be entitled to recover.
Distracted Driving Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of driver distraction?
Visual distraction involves losing sight of the road. Manual distraction removes your hands from the wheel, while cognitive distraction is thinking about other things while driving.
How do you prove distraction in an accident case?
You can prove distraction via evidence you obtain during the discovery process. You may also use witnesses, police reports, forensic reconstructions, and depositions.
How can an attorney help you after a distracted driving accident?
An attorney can evaluate your case and protect your interests. They can represent you when dealing with law enforcement officers, accident victims, distracted drivers, or insurance companies.