Texting while driving is technically illegal in Florida. However, that doesn’t mean the law is enforced frequently — or even much at all.
Florida is one of the most lenient states in the nation when it comes to this specific distracted driving offense. In Florida, texting while driving is not a primary offense, meaning officers cannot stop you solely for that behavior. It is a secondary offense, which means you must have been pulled over for another primary offense to be issued a citation for texting while driving.
The Florida legislature has had numerous opportunities to get stricter with this law, but has repeatedly declined to do so, despite numerous studies indicating just how deadly texting while driving can be. It is frequently considered to be just as dangerous as drinking and driving, if not more so. Legislatures believe stricter laws would infringe upon the rights of drivers, and lead to police stopping drivers unfairly.
However, every other state in the nation except Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota classifies texting while driving as a primary offense, meaning Florida is lagging significantly behind the rest of the country with regard to this specific type of vehicle safety.
It is likely that the legislature will soon have yet another opportunity to make texting while driving a primary offense, but in the meantime, public safety advocates continue to put pressure on state representatives to make what they call a “common sense” change to existing law.
Personal injury claims in texting while driving cases
If you were injured in an accident caused by a person who was texting or otherwise distracted behind the wheel, you can use evidence of that behavior to indicate they were negligent and thus liable for your injury in the resulting accident.
For further guidance on proceeding with a personal injury lawsuit, speak with a trusted Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.