In our last post, we talked about the texting while driving law here in Florida and the lack of a substantial effect that this law has had on the driving population. Since texting while driving is considered a secondary offense in the state of Florida, it means officers can’t pull you over for the particular offense. You have to commit another, primary offense first — and then the police officer can add on the texting while driving offense to the original infraction.
So today we want to supply some evidence as to why the texting while driving ban should be improved. The American Automobile Association released a new report indicating that driver aged 16 or 17 are 3.9 times more likely to be in a crash as a driver who is 18 or older. Additionally, they are 2.6 times more likely to get into a fatal crash as a driver who is 18 or older.
Why this drastic increase in crash probabilities for young teens? Inexperience is a big cause, but so is distraction, the report notes. Distracted driving — and today, a significant portion of distracted driving relates to cellphone use — is a sadly prevalent behavior among young drivers. And without robust laws in place to curb this behavior, young drivers will grow up in the state of Florida thinking that the law tacitly tolerates distracted driving (even though it literally doesn’t).
Distracted driving is a huge problem. Stricter laws and better driving education classes are the way to stomp this behavior out early.
Source: Today, “Fatal car crashes nearly three times more likely in newly licensed teens,” Linda Carroll, June 1, 2017