Distracted Driving in Florida:
In honor of Distracted Driving Month in April, recently released statistics from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) showed that 2017 was the worst year on record for accidents involving distracted drivers in Florida.
In addition, even though more than 50,000 accidents occurred in 2017 that were attributed to driver inattention, the recent failure of proposed legislation in the Florida Senate that would have made texting a primary offense for which police officers could pull over and ticket drivers will mean this trend will not show any signs of slowing.
2017: The Worst Year on Record for Distracted Driving in Florida
A recent FHP compilation of car accident statistics in Florida totaled all instance of distracted driving in the Sunshine State in 2017 and found that more than 50,000 accidents resulted from drivers who were not focused on the road while behind the wheel. The FHP statistics further reflected that distracted driving crashes have increased 25 percent since 2013. The FHP statistics also showed that the age group most likely to have caused an accident due to distracted driving were those between the ages of 20 and 29.
FHP officials attributed this to the fact that these drivers were more likely to have grown up with much of the technology that consumes their daily lives, and thus more likely to use a mobile phone to text, send an email or for another purpose when behind the wheel. This despite that the consequences of doing so can be injuries or even death to other motorists.
The Attempted Legislative Fix during the 2018 Florida Legislative Session
The 2018 Florida Legislature featured an effort by Florida legislators in both the state House and Senate to partially resolve the distracted driving crisis in Florida by giving police officers the increased ability to pull someone over and ticket them for texting while driving. Under current Florida law, texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning a person cannot be pulled over simply because a police officer spots the person texting.
Instead, a police officer can only pull the person over for another offense, such as speeding, and then ticket the motorist for both speeding as well as texting while driving. The proposed bill passed the Florida House, but stalled in committee in the Senate, so it never made it to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.
Contact The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Lytal Reiter if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured or Killed in a Motor Vehicle Accident Involving a Distracted Driver
As the FHP’s 2017 statistics for distracted driving accidents in Florida clearly demonstrate, distracted driving is only likely to become a more, rather than less, common occurrence in the years to come despite the efforts of some Florida legislators to reverse this trend. Such accidents can have devastating consequences, as a driver who is not paying attention behind the wheel can cause serious injuries or even death to other motorists on the road. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have represented thousands of individuals who have been injured or whose loved one has been killed in an auto accident or a pedestrian accident since our firm was founded in 1985. Call our office at (561) 655-1990 or (800) 654-2024 to schedule a free consultation today.
About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer. Call us at 561-655-1990 or Visit us at.
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