Florida takes steps to ban texting while driving

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make texting while driving illegal in the state. Senate Bill 52 was approved 36 to 0, and it would make texting while driving a secondary violation. This means that a motorist must have committed some other offense such as speeding before being given a ticket for texting. Supporters hope that the auto accident rate due to texting or distracted driving will drop with the passage of the bill.

Public support for the bill has been high with senators quoting an 89-percent support rate. The bill will be presented to the House, and it is expected to pass overwhelmingly there as well. Statistics show that 11 teenagers die every day due to texting-related accidents, but Florida remains one of only five states that has not yet legally banned this activity.

Texting has been described as an “epidemic” problem. When people text while driving, they must remove attention from the road for an extended period of time. Many studies have concluded that the effects of distracted driving can be just as dangerous as those seen when drivers consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Residents of Florida who have suffered injury because of the actions of a distracted driver may have the right to collect compensation for physical and mental trauma. Personal injury attorneys may be able to help them collect compensation for medical bills, loss of abilities, pain and suffering, lost wages and increased living expenses related to injuries suffered in texting-while-driving accidents.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Texting-while-driving-ban sails through the Senate,” Rochelle Koff, April 16, 2013