Florida Car Crashes Skyrocket as More Drivers Text Behind the Wheel
Texting behind the wheel has become more prevalent over the years, and more car accidents are occurring as a result. Out of the fifty states, Florida is one of the most lenient ones in terms of penalizing drivers who have caused an accident due to taking their eyes off the road to finish a text.
According to a recent study done by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, after examining 3 million crashes, the study showed that accidents occurring because of texting have increased by 11 percent from 2013 to 2016. The problem is now considered to be an epidemic.
According to Kenya Cory, coordinator for the Florida Don’t Text and Drive Coalition, the sharp increase in accidents over the years is a direct result of texting while driving.
Texting versus Drunk Driving
The problem with texting and driving is that the affects of it can be just as serious as drunk driving. Florida law makes it difficult for police officers to fight the problem. Under current law, a police officer cannot pull someone over simply because that person is texting and driving. The driver must commit another infraction first, while other states believe texting and driving is an acceptable primary offense.
New Proposed Bill
A new Florida bill has been proposed, co-sponsored by Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. As a teenager, Slosberg nearly died in a car accident while her twin sister, Dori, was one of five people who died when the car she was in crashed a Honda Civic into another car traveling at 90 mph. This experience understandably has made Slosberg a road safety advocate.
“We have an epidemic on our roadways, and we need this legislation that would stop the deadly practice of texting while driving,” Slosberg said. “You don’t have the liberty to drink and drive because it kills people. You don’t have the liberty to text and drive because it also kills people. That’s not a liberty that we have.”
Proponents of this stricter policy are interested in making texting a primary offense, which is what this new law will do. However, the new proposed law only makes texting a non-moving violation with a relatively low fine at $30. This still leaves the state behind others. In contrast, twenty-one other states either restrict or completely ban holding phones will driving.
While many agree that the fine is not particularly high, it is a start in the process of Florida cracking down on texting and driving. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by Florida drivers after a car accident.
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