Florida is joining the vast majority of states that have enacted laws about distracted driving. Nationwide, distracted driving using communications devices has risen to 25 percent of auto accidents. Among teenagers, this number jumps to 58 percent of car accidents. Here’s what you need to know about the new laws.
Ban on Texting While Driving
Florida enacted a ban on texting while driving that was updated in July of this year. The updated law allows police officers to treat texting while driving as a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over and given a ticket if you are seen texting while driving. You still won’t get a ticket if you are using your smart device to talk on the phone or use a navigational device.
Texting while driving is an actionable offense, and it can be the basis for finding fault in an auto accident. If you are in an accident involving a texting driver, they will be found liable, and you will be entitled to damages for your property and injuries.
Ban on Handheld Devices
While the texting while driving ban is in effect for all of Florida, this newer law is only in effect for school and work zones. According to the new law that went into effect in October of this year, you may not use your handheld device for any reason in school zones or work zones. This means that your smart device must be out of your hands while you are in these zones. Hands-free communications are still allowed. If a driver is in an accident in one of these zones and was on their phone, they will be liable for property damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
If you have recently been in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, we can help. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.