Florida drivers are required to put down their phones while driving; but not every driver obeys this law. Although the law is in place because of the number of fatalities due to texting while driving and is meant to keep drivers safe, many drivers continue to text and drive. The statistics are staggering. Texting while driving is more distracting than driving drunk, because it crosses off all three parts of distracted driving: it takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road and your mind off driving.
Florida Bans Texting While Driving
Section 316.305, Florida Statutes allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists that are texting and driving. A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message. This kind of distracted driving is extremely risky behavior that puts everyone on the road in danger.
With the new anti-texting law, it is now illegal to text and drive. Therefore, if a teenage driver crashes and injures someone while texting, they will not only be responsible for all of the compensatory losses (like pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills), but they will also be responsible for a very likely punitive damage verdict. Those punitive damages, or punitive damages, can be millions and millions of dollars over and above the original multi-million dollar compensatory damage verdict! What’s worse, the punitive damages are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. That means that until you fully pay them, you never get rid of them.
Educating Teens About the Dangers of Texting While Driving
In an effort to educate teenage drivers across the state, Brain LaBovick has been part of several seminars put on by the Dori Slosberg Highway Safety Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to end distracted driving because distracted drivers cause 3,500 deaths & 400,000 injuries every year nationwide.
When your eyes are not on the road, you’re unable to react quickly to avoid a crash or come to a stop. This can end in serious damage or loss of life. Young drivers must take the texting while driving ban seriously, as should drivers of all ages. The consequences can truly be life-changing.
Many young drivers are confused and almost in disbelief to learn that if they seriously harm or kill a human being in their automobile, their parents can lose everything they have ever worked for because of their accident, not to mention that they themselves will be held accountable for their irresponsible actions.
It’s more important than ever for teenagers to hear that an accident they have when they are 17 or 18 years old can stick with them until they are 40 years old or sometimes for life. It’s a hard life lesson that will hopefully stick in their minds next time they are out on the road and get a text from a friend.
The attorneys at LaBovick Law Group are passionate about enforcing the laws and protecting the injured. We are Warriors for Justice and will use every law at our disposal to provide our clients the maximum amount of justice the law permits. That now includes the new texting and driving prohibition.
Young drivers here is your warning: focus on the task at hand — driving. Leave the distractions to the side and arrive safely. Do not text and drive. Do not drink and drive. Do not allow your passengers to ride without their seatbelts fastened. It is easy to make a mistake, but it is your responsibility to take all the precautions necessary so that those mistakes do not happen.