Distracted driving is a problem in Florida. When drivers allow their focus and attention to follow tasks and activities that are not driving, they may miss important changes in road conditions and cause dangerous car accidents. One way that distracted driving puts motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in danger is when distracted drivers fail to see road signs and traffic lights.
Surviving a car accident and coping with its aftermath can be a heavy burden for a Florida resident to bear. They may have to make difficult but important decisions about how to protect their legal rights all while dealing with physical injuries, time off from work and significant pain and suffering. Even when a victim knows who caused their losses and can work with them to resolve their disputes, the process may still be lengthy and tough.
Often when the victim of a car accident files a lawsuit to recover their losses, their claims will be based on the negligence of the other party. Negligence is a broad legal concept that generally applies when a person fails to meet a requisite duty of care to others in the situation that they are in. In the context of a car accident, negligence may involve a distracted driver who does not have their eyes on the road and who crashes into another vehicle, causing that vehicle's driver serious bodily injuries.
Last year, Great Britain added a new instruction to its driving rulebook when it mandated that individuals use the Dutch Reach when exiting their parallel-parked cars. The Dutch Reach requires drivers to use their inside hand to open their doors. When a driver reaches across their body to open the car door, their body turns toward the road and the driver is forced to look over their shoulder. In this action, they are more likely to see an oncoming bicyclist and prevent a dangerous dooring accident.
Car accidents happen on Florida roads each and every day. Many collisions happen because drivers are too distracted to pay attention to what is happening around them. When a driver is looking at their cell phone, typing a text, or changing their music playlist, they may miss the presence of other vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians near them.
There can be many scenarios that lead to a motor vehicle accident. For example, perhaps you were speeding when you were t-boned by a distracted driver at an intersection. The distracted driver clearly wasn't paying attention to the road and violated traffic laws when the incident occurred. However, you were speeding, which also breaches a motorist's duty of care. Because you were partly at fault for the crash, does this mean that you cannot pursue a legal claim against the other driver?
A bill that would raise texting and driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense was recently passed by the Florida House and is now awaiting the approval of Governor Ron DeSantis. The bill also makes it illegal for motorists to use a cellphone in school or construction zones. However, using GPS is still lawful, unless the motorist is in a school or construction zone. This measure would allow Florida to catch up with other states in the nation on this issue, as it is one of only four states in which texting and driving is a secondary offense.
Many people in the greater Tampa area know that their jobs are important for their livelihoods and thus do what they can to keep their employers happy. This desire to get ahead at one's workplace means, among other things, that an employee will be available to communicate remotely.
A teenager who was driving in a town about 60 miles away from the heart of Tampa, Florida, was critically injured recently in a hit-and-run accident. The accident was recorded on a security camera.
As previous posts on this blog have discussed, Florida's existing laws against distracted driving have some room for improvement. If some lawmakers get their way, this new legislative session may be the time where our state's leadership can overcome some political hurdles and take action to make the existing laws better.