Florida’s texting and driving law went into effect just over a year ago. Since then, authorities have issued 3,842 citations issued for distracted driving. The texting and driving law gives police officers the ability to pull someone over who they witness using their phone while operating a vehicle.
The addition of the law came as a result of overwhelming statistics showing that texting while driving is dangerous. Distracted driving was the cause of 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA also estimated that more than 400,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted driving in 2018.
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
They cite texting as the worst distraction, noting that sending or reading a text takes your eye off the road for five seconds. Five seconds when traveling at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the distance of a football field with your eyes closed.
It can be difficult to resist the urge to read or answer a text. If you or a loved one need extra help in avoiding texting while on the road, we suggest downloading an app on your phone that makes it inaccessible while driving.
Here are some of the most popular smartphone apps to help you avoid distracted driving:
LifeSaver was created for parents and business owners. The app runs in the phone background and activates when the phone user starts driving to block phone use. Parents and business owners can monitor drivers through an online portal. (Free, on Android and iOS)
Drivemode was created by transportation entrepreneurs to change how people use their phones while driving with a simplified interface and voice-enabled commands to safely access phone applications. (Free, on Android)
OnMyWay pays users cash for every mile driven without texting or using their phone and for referring friends to the application. OnMyWay Cash can be used for store cards, cash cards, and travel deals. (Free, on Android and iOS)
TrueMotion tracks driving safety as a family. The app gives each member of the family a driving score and level of distraction. The app can send alerts about the location of family members, how they got there, and driving activity, including if they were using their phone. (Free, on Android and iOS)
Whether you choose to use an app or simply enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone, we urge all of our friends and family to take distracted driving seriously. It could save you a ticket at the very least and life-changing injury to yourself or others in the worst case.
If a negligent driver caused a car accident that resulted in you or a loved one suffering a serious injury, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages. We invite you to call our office with any questions at (305) 662-6178.
Nuñez, (2020, July 1). Nearly 4,000 texting while driving citations issued in Florida since law went into effect. Retrieved from https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/07/01/nearly-4000-texting-while-driving-citations-issued-in-florida-since-law-went-into-effect/
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted Driving. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving