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Florida roads are typically busy with snowbirds, tourists and residents, especially during the spring and summer. With so many people on the road at any one time, it is especially important for drivers to make safe choices and be attentive. Distractions of all kinds are some of the leading reasons why accidents happen, and lawmakers are looking for ways to make the roads safer for you and everyone else.

Distracted driving continues to be a serious problem and one of the main causes for injuries and fatalities on the road. As a result, lawmakers are considering legislation that would increase the penalties for distracted driving, They are also looking to change the definition of distracted driving to include various different types of dangerous behaviors in addition to texting and cell phone use.

Do safer roads start with stronger laws?

Recently, The Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee approved a measure that proposes stronger laws and harsher penalties for distracted driving. They listened to testimonies from people who have lost loved ones due to distracted drivers, and you may be among the many who believe that passing stronger laws is the right approach to this specific problem. One lawmaker stated that he believed distracted driving was an ongoing epidemic in the state of Florida.

Right now, texting and driving is only a secondary offense. This means that even if law enforcement sees a driver texting, they can only make a traffic stop if the driver is also committing a primary offense, such as speeding or failure to stop. If this measure passes, it would make texting a primary offense. Drivers could also face repercussions for other types of distracted driving, such as putting on makeup.

A technology problem with deadly implications

People are addicted to their phones. They believe they can safely drive while also texting, looking at Facebook and engaging in other dangerous behaviors. In reality, the only safe way to drive a car is with both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind focused on driving. 

No matter what laws are in place, you know that drivers are still responsible for the choices they make, especially when they cause harm to another person. If you or a loved one is a victim of a distracted driver, you have the choice to pursue financial compensation through a civil claim against the liable party. You may want to learn more about the legal options available to you under Florida law.