Given the ways in which people behind the wheel can be distracted by various activities and devices in today’s world, many are unaware as to what Florida’s laws are when it comes to distracted driving. Smartphones that allow people to check their emails, text, send photographs, use various outlets for social media and numerous other things makes them an irresistible attraction. Many mistakenly believe that it is safe to look away from the road for a brief moment. However, a car accident can happen in that split second and lead to people being seriously injured or killed.
According to state law, the idea is to improve the safety for everyone on the road. Law enforcement is authorized to stop vehicles and cite drivers who are using their cell phones while operating their vehicle. The law states that drivers can’t be operating their vehicle while manually typing, sending data, emailing, texting or sending instant messages. This law applies to “wireless communications devices.” If the vehicle is not in motion, this law does not apply.
There are exceptions to this rule for law enforcement officers or emergency services workers. If someone is reporting illegal or potentially criminal activity, that too is allowed. People can use their devices to listen to safety information or use it to get directions.
In the course of an accident investigation, the billing records of the people involved can be admissible in a case. Authorities are also allowed to provide testimony as to whether or not the person was using a wireless device.
The number of people who are injured in an auto accident due to texting and driving across the country is substantial. When people are hurt in a crash, there can be medical costs, long-term care, and the inability to return to work in a timely fashion, if at all. Because the law states that an accident can lead to the admissibility of the records, those who have been hurt need to understand how to pursue a case and gain those records to be compensated. An experienced attorney can provide assistance and advice in distracted driver cases.
Source: flsenate.gov, “316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.,” accessed on Mar. 23, 2015