Florida recently implemented a new texting law that prohibits motorists from texting while driving. The Wireless Communications while Driving law took effect on July 1, 2019, making texting while driving a primary offense. The law allows law enforcement to stop automobiles and issue citations to motorists that are driving and texting. A motor vehicle cannot be operated properly if the driver is typing letters, symbols or numbers into a wireless communications device, to send email, text, or an instant message. The new law bans driver’s from using wireless communications devices in a handheld manner within work and school zones. Statistics show that, in 2015, distracted driving caused 50,000 car accidents, 3500 injuries and 233 deaths in Florida. Florida’s new texting while driving law is hoping to decrease further accidents and fatalities by preventing texting and driving, which is a primary distraction on the road.
What is Distracted Driving?
- Mobile phones are included in 1.5 million auto crashes per year, causing half a million injuries and 8,000 deaths.
- It’s estimated that 40% of U.S teens say they have been in a car when a cell phone was used by the driver in a way that puts people in danger.
- Over 3,000 teenagers die per year in car accidents caused by texting while driving.
- Using a cell phone while driving reduces a driver’s reaction time and mimics a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 percent.
- Texting and driving cause 1 out of 4 car accidents in the U.S.
- 48% of teenagers between the ages of 13-17 have admitted to being in a car while the driver was texting. Teenagers have a 400% chance of being in a motor accident when texting while driving than adults.