Operating a cell phone while operating a vehicle should be considered a reckless driving and be actionable as negligence per se. It is this Weston Personal Injury Attorney’s position that all use of a cellular device while operating a vehicle should be banned except for the most urgent circumstances in the State of Florida and throughout the United States.
According to distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This site unequivocally states that all distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. It goes on to list the type of distractions to include texting, using a cell phone or Smart phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading (including maps), using the navigation system, watching a video, adjusting the radio/CD player or MP3 player.
The government singles out the use of text messaging – which requires visual, manual and cognitive diversion or distraction from the driver – to be by far the most alarming of all distractions. While the government site states that the best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses, it is this Weston personal injury attorney’s position that the State of Florida needs to declare a ban and provide penalties similar to many other states throughout the United States of America if one is found texting or using a cell phone or a Smart phone while operating a motor vehicle.
According to the government’s analysis, in 2010 over three thousand people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, along with some over four hundred thousand injuries which were caused by crashes involving distracted drivers. In the month of June 2011, they site that more one hundred ninety-six billion test messages (196,000,000,000) were sent or received in the United States. About eleven (11%) percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash and that forty percent of all American teenagers say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. Texting creates twenty-three times the risk of crashing. Sending a text usually involves a period of close to five seconds from when the driver’s eyes were distracted from the roadway; which at 55 miles per hour would be equivalent to an entire football field operating blind.
Furthermore they found that headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than handheld use and that driving while using the cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by thirty-seven percent. For instance, New York State prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices. New York considers it an illegal activity holding an electronic device and composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving electronic data such as e-mails, text messages or web pages, viewing, taking or transmitting images, and playing games.
There are financial penalties for violation of the law, as well as driver penalty points. It is considered a primary law which means an officer can stop you if observed using a handheld device.
It is time that Florida joins the majority of states in altering its existing law and making the use of handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle illegal. In the upcoming days we will attempt to circulate a petition throughout the State to try once again to enact a law to bring this distracting use to an end in the great State of Florida.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Weston Automobile Injury Accident Attorneys at 954-349-3300, 877-529-0444 at email@example.com