At Paulsen Law Group, our Dunedin personal injury lawyer understands what an important role our cellphone plays in our lives. Whether we use it to communicate with others or stay updated with current events, we use these mobile devices to conduct our everyday lives.
Unfortunately, many people operating their vehicles while using their cellphones – especially to text – and causing serious car accidents. Evidence has shown that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If you type or look at a text for just five seconds while your vehicle travels 55 mph, your vehicle has driven the distance equivalent to a football field.
Due to the distracted driving epidemic, including the dangers of texting while driving, Florida has enacted laws and enforced penalties to discourage this hazardous behavior.
Florida’s Texting While Driving Law & Penalties
According to state law, an individual may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device to engage in non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods such as texting, instant messaging, or e-mailing.
In 2014, the Florida DMV made texting while driving a secondary offense. Although an officer cannot pull you over if he or she sees you texting while driving alone, any commission of a moving violation while you are texting and driving will result in additional fines to your ticket, as well as points on your license.
Points on your license for texting include:
- No points for first offense
- Two points are added to primary offense (e.g. speeding) if texting happened in a school zone
- Six points are added if the texting offense caused an accident
If you suffered an injury in a car accident caused by a driver who was texting and driving, their negligent actions could make you eligible to recover financial compensation. Contact our Dunedin personal injury attorney at Paulsen Law Group and schedule a free consultation today.