We talked about recently passed legislation that prohibits drivers from texting while their car is in motion. Late to the game, Florida is the 41st state to pass measures to address the epidemic of distracted driving.
The Florida legislation is limited. Under the new law, texting is a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement cannot use cell phone records to prove the violation unless injury or death results. Also, the use of voice-to-text and mobile navigational devices is not prohibited.
Driving distracted kills, and texting is only one part of that. Here is why:
- Despite claims to the contrary, the human brain does poorly at multi-tasking. When pushed to assimilate information from several fields, the brain filters out information to effectively process a smaller amount of stimuli. The resulting inattention blindness removes data from your field of vision. When you are distracted and say you did not see the stop sign — you literally did not. However, you are still at fault.
- Hands free use of mobile devices while driving is not risk-free driving according to a detailed study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety and another study by the Texas A & M Transportation Institute. Both studies found voice-to-text messaging might be more dangerous than traditional text messaging.
- Early research at the University of Utah found cell phone users were as impaired as drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent.
While safety advocates are encouraging car manufacturers to reduce the infiltration of on-board computer systems into new cars to reduce distraction, Florida has made it a $30 offense to text while driving.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, speak with an experienced Jacksonville, Florida personal injury attorney.
Attorney Shane Herbert also contributed to this blog post.