In Florida and states across the nation, legislators and law enforcement are trying to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving and discourage drivers from taking part in the practice. Laws outlawing handheld devices and various penalties are designed to reduce its frequency. However, despite these efforts, researchers suggest that laws should go further in making distracted driving illegal as the current attempts have not been as effective as hoped. Since this continues to be a problem, people should be aware of it and be cautious. When there is a collision, they should be cognizant that distraction could have been a factor.
Extensive hands-free laws were found to reduce distracted driving accidents
According to a recent study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, states that had what were described as “comprehensive” laws about hands-free use when driving prevent nearly 14,000 injuries and 140 fatalities in crashes annually. By comprehensive, the researchers mean that the laws should go beyond simply making it illegal for drivers to make phone calls and text when they are driving with limited punishments. They recommend that drivers be banned outright from holding a device. This is especially important when teenagers are behind the wheel.
Florida has only recently enacted laws to address distracted driving and even they do not go very far. The focus has been on educating drivers as to the risks they present to themselves and others when they drive while distracted. In addition, drivers are legally obligated to put their device down while driving. Law enforcement can make a traffic stop for texting and driving and issue a citation. There can also be a traffic stop for using a handheld device when driving in work zones and school zones.
Drivers are still driving while distracted
Even with these attempts to crack down on this behavior, distracted driving accidents continue to be one of the most common road dangers. Until the laws are strengthened, this trend will likely continue with the accidents, injuries and fatalities to show for it. When thinking about the options after an accident, knowing whether the catalyst was a distracted driver can be a fundamental part of a claim for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and more. Having advice from the start is key and can help with gathering evidence and moving forward.