Orlando Auto Accident Resource Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Distracted Driving

Here are the answers to the questions we hear the most about Distracted Driving. Please share this information with anyone you want to keep safe on the roads.

What are the exemptions to Florida Statute 316.305 (“Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”)?

  • Performing official duties as an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in a law enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency medical services professional;
  • Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities;
  • Receiving messages that are:
    • Related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle;
    • Safety-related information, including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts;
    • Data used primarily by the motor vehicle or radio broadcasts;
  • Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
  • Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function (i.e. – talking on the phone).

How big of a problem is distracted driving in Florida?

Florida ranked as the second worst state for distracted driving in a study completed by EverQuote. In fact, crashes involving a distracted driver went up nearly 5,000 between 2015 and 2016.

Did Florida’s ban on cell phone use while driving help eliminate distracted driving?

No. As a matter of fact, crashes that resulted from a driver distracted have increased 26 percent since the ban in 2013.

Will Florida be introducing new legislation that would enact harsher penalties on those who text and drive?

Legislators have introduced multiple bills since 2013 that would enact harsher penalties on drivers who are caught using their cell phones while driving. However, no bill has made it through the legislative season, yet.

How dangerous is using your cell phone while driving?

Texting or accessing social media on your phone while driving is considered to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving. The reason is because texting is considered a visual, cognitive and physical form of distraction.

What age group is most likely to use their cell phone while driving?

Not surprisingly, young drivers are the most frequent offenders. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, drivers between the ages of 20-24 caused the most crashes in Florida last year due to distracted driving. However, drivers ages 18-20 are the most likely to use their phone while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What are my rights if I am involved in an accident with a driver who was on their phone?

If you were involved in a car accident in Florida where the other driver was at-fault and using their cell phone, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately so they can advise you about what to do after your accident.

How much is the fine for texting while driving in Florida?

A first offense of cell phone use while driving in Florida has a fee of $30 plus court costs. If it is a second offense, the fee is $60.

Can a Florida driver legally text while stopped at a red light?

Yes, in fact drivers can legally text while parked, stopped at a red light or while they are stuck in traffic. Just because it’s legal does not mean its safe.

What is the number one reason for accidents on America’s roadways?

Distracted driving.

Can my insurance company access the other driver’s phone records if it is believed they were texting while driving?

Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury, a driver’s phone records may be admissible as evidence to determine whether a violation has been committed.

What is considered a ‘distraction’ in distracted driving?

Anything that requires your visual, cognitive or physical attention that takes your focus off the road. Some examples include:

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Texting
  • Browsing social media while driving
  • Talking with passengers
  • Putting on make-up
  • Tuning the radio
  • Tending to children in the vehicle
  • Tending to pets in the vehicle
  • Day dreaming
  • Eating
  • Drinking

Preventing Distracted Driving Helps Everyone

We want our Central Florida roads to be safer. Join us in making an effort to reduce distracted driving and please use caution on the road and be alert for other distracted drivers.If you have been in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver call us right now at 407-490-1271 and put our team of Orlando Auto Accident Attorneys to work for you.

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Copyright © Michael T. Gibson, P.A. 2019