This week Florida finally joined the majority of states in passing a law making texting, emailing or IMing while driving a secondary traffic offense. The law’s purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries caused by distracted drivers which have become an epidemic in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida. Over 3,000 people were killed across the United States in 2011 in distracted driving car accidents. Studies show that distracted driving is roughly the equivalent to a drunk driver as it pertains to reaction times. According to the NHTSA, texting while driving increases the likelihood of car accidents by more than 2300 percent;, yet many of us don't give a second thought to letting ourselves be distracted while driving.
The new law imposes a $30 fine for first time offenders, rising to $60 for a second offense, and assessing points against a license for multiple offenses within a five-year period.
As a Miami personal injury lawyer, Joseph Lipsky has sadly seen too many clients who’ve suffered injuries in car accidents caused by a texting or distracted motorist. While the media has spent a great deal of time bringing the dangers of texting behind the wheel to the public’s attention, there are many other activities that can cause a driver to take his eyes and mind off the road.The other distracted driving activities include:
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting your iPod or GPS device
- Talking or arguing with your passengers
- Lighting and smoking a cigarette
- Applying makeup or shaving
- Gawking at a roadside accident
All of these behaviors can result in serious injury and death. A few seconds of inattention can cause a lifetime of injury. Now that Florida’s legislature has passed a ban on texting while driving, that law and being a cautious driver, you can help avoid these kinds of car accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, please call 1-888-FLA-LAW8 or contact the Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, PA today for your free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Miami car accident lawyer. We have convenient office locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Key Largo and Delray Beach, Florida.