Since 2019, texting while driving has been illegal in Florida. It is a primary offense, meaning police can pull over and cite drivers even if they are not committing other violations. The goal of the law is to help reduce distracted driving.
Distracted driving, and primarily texting while driving, contributes to millions of wrecks each year. When you are in a collision with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to recover financial damages with the help of our dedicated car wreck attorneys. A lawyer who regularly handles texting while driving car accidents in Inverness can assess your case and explain your legal options.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver focuses on something other than the road. Some activities are obvious distractions, like putting on makeup while driving, using a phone, or reading a book; however, other activities that might seem harmless are still dangerous, such as changing the car stereo, using navigation devices, or drinking a non-alcoholic beverage.
Most motorists engage in some distracted driving behaviors. People often enjoy refreshing beverages while they drive or change the radio station to avoid commercials. Doing those things without danger is possible, but doing them at the wrong moment can lead to a tragic accident. A skilled attorney in Inverness could determine whether a driver was texting behind the wheel during a vehicle accident and work to hold them accountable.
Florida’s Texting While Driving Ban
In 2019, Florida enacted a law that bans texting while driving, Fla. Stat. § 316.05. The goal is to prevent people from looking at their phone screens while operating a vehicle. While most people refer to it as a ban on texting behind the wheel, the law applies to typing or reading data on any mobile device.
This law provides a bright-line rule for criminal law. A police officer does not have to demonstrate that the driver’s wireless device use led to reckless behavior. Instead, they only have to prove that the driver used a wireless device.
The law helps injured people in Inverness recover compensation from drivers who cause car crashes by texting. Evidence that a person was engaging in criminal behavior goes a long way towards establishing that they were not behaving as a reasonable person would in the circumstances. Plus, since devices generally record typing or reading behavior on mobile devices, lawyers managing these cases could easily provide proof of cell phone use.
Grey Areas in the Law
While texting while driving laws seem black and white, a car wreck attorney in Inverness can attest that these laws often have grey areas. The law specifically applies to people operating moving vehicles; therefore, someone stopped in their car is not driving. While being stopped could save someone from causing an accident, drivers should always remain focused.
Negligence depends on whether a reasonable driver would have engaged in the same behavior as the person who caused the car wreck. For instance, a reasonable driver might pull over on a side street, use their brake, and text someone; however, doing the same thing on a highway with no shoulder is unreasonable.
Meet With an Attorney in Inverness to Discuss a Texting While Driving Car Accident
When you are hurt in a texting while driving car accident in Inverness, enlist the help of a legal representative. We can assess whether your damages exceed your PIP coverage. When it does, you could file a claim or bring suit against the distracted driver for your current or future medical bills, emotional distress, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Call today to schedule your consultation.