January 25th, 2012 - by DKRPA
Distracted driving has quickly become a national story, with 35 states enacting some form of a ban on texting while driving. Florida is currently not one of those states, but that could change this month when state legislators vote on a new texting while driving law.
The dangers of texting while driving are clear – while operating a vehicle, it is important to be focused on what is in front of you. When the driver is more focused on a text or phone call, it qualifies as negligence and puts helpless bystanders in jeopardy. Just such an incident happened in Riviera Beach last week. A woman who was texting while driving hit another car, swerved across the oncoming lane and finally crashed into a tree.
Amazingly there were no serious injuries reported in the crash, though the woman was hospitalized for precautionary measures. She admitted to police that before the accident happened, she was texting. One driving instructor in the area voiced his frustration about the crash and the act of texting while driving.
“It scares me because this young woman put herself in danger for the sake of a text,” he said. “It takes milliseconds for someone to make a mistake.”
If Florida legislators pass the texting while driving ban, the negligent act would be considered a secondary offense. Police officers would not be able to pull over a driver if they are texting; but if the driver commits some other violation (such as reckless driving), the officer could write a ticket for texting.
Negligence while driving can cause very serious accidents that involve pedestrians, bikers or other drivers. Those who are texting while driving could be liable for any injuries sustained by victims of this negligent act.
Source: WPEC News 12, “Texting and driving blamed for Riviera Beach crash,” Dec. 28, 2011