Distracted Driving and PIP – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the latest changes to the law when it comes to texting and driving in Florida? 

Two proposed bills are being debated: House Bill 107 and Senate Bill 76. Currently, drivers cannot be pulled over for texting and driving alone. In the State of Florida, it is considered a secondary offense, which means another infraction must be committed first.  Both bills would make texting and driving a primary offense, which means that a person cannot drive or operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device.

Do violations include using a cell phone while the car is stationary?

Neither legislation bans using a cell phone while a vehicle is stationary. However, to be stationary means the car is not being operated. The car needs to be safely not in motion, which does include using a phone while at a stoplight. However, for safety purposes, we advise against using your phone even if you are at a red light.

Will there be a grace period with the new law?

The legislation includes a three-month “grace period,” starting on October 1, 2019, and lasting through December 31, 2019. During this time, law enforcement officers can stop drivers who are driving while distracted, but they will be issued verbal or written warnings only.

Are autonomous vehicles included in this ban?

No. Both forms of legislation do not apply to a person who is using his or her cell phone while driving in an autonomous vehicle.

Are distracted driving crashes more common in certain areas of Florida?

The Orange County area tops the list of counties in Florida with the most accidents caused by distracted driving. It is reported that 7,421 accidents were caused by distracted driving in Orange County. The next three highest counties include Broward with 4,314 accidents, Miami-Dade with 4,144 accidents, and Hillsborough with 4,301 accidents.

What are the proposed changes the House and Senate proposals would make to the current Florida PIP requirements? 

The House and Senate proposals would move away from the PIP requirement and, starting Jan. 1, 2020 mandate that motorists carry bodily-injury coverage. The bills would require a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injuries or deaths of two or more people. The proposals also would retain an existing $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage.

What is wrong with Florida’s current PIP No-Fault System? 

Motorists are required to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage, an amount unchanged since 1979.  Experts and common sense will tell you it is just fundamentally irresponsible to be driving around in 2019 with what essentially amounts to $1,500 in no-fault insurance. Florida is one of only a handful of states in the country that does not require mandatory bodily injury coverage. Our No. 1 piece of advice for Florida drivers: Purchase Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage.

Get the Help You Need After an Orlando Auto Accident with a Distracted Driver.

As a car accident attorney who handles these type cases every day, I advise that you put your cell phone away while driving, as it cuts down your ability to react quickly and appropriately to hazards around you. The consequences can be deadly, distracted driving is 100% preventable.

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or fatality as the result of an automobile accident with a distracted driver, you need to contact an experienced Orlando Auto Accident Attorney immediately. Distracted driving can be difficult to prove in court. Our Orlando Car Accident Team is well equipped and armed with years of legal experience helping people file auto insurance claims. We can help you obtain maximum compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. We also offer our clients The More for You Guarantee.  Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on this page or call us right now at 407-490-1271 for your free consultation. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.

Related Resources:

https://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/driven-by-distraction-the-push-to-ramp-up-florida-s-distracted-driving-laws/1933952015

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/politics/florida/florida-lawmakers-to-consider-harsher-texting-while-driving-ban/67-617716508

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/2019/04/23/florida-house-approves-ban-on-texting-while-driving/

https://www.tampabay.com/florida/2019/04/25/five-things-to-know-about-texting-while-driving-legislation-in-florida/

https://www.watchdog.org/florida/florida-no-fault-auto-insurance-repeal-one-hearing-away-from/article_ffdda0ca-5544-11e9-8fa6-9f9e638267de.html

 

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