As smartphone technology has advanced at lightning speed and brought convenience to our fingertips, it has also introduced new hazards to the road. Texting while driving is especially dangerous. A driver who causes an accident while texting and driving could be held liable for the damage caused by their negligence. Here’s what you need to know about texting while driving car accidents in Florida.
Florida Texting and Driving Laws
The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law aims to improve road safety by prohibiting text messaging and similar activities on wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. The law authorizes police officers to stop and cite drivers they see violating it, even if those drivers are not breaking any other laws.
The prohibition does not apply to:
- Police officers and other emergency responders performing official duties
- Drivers reporting emergencies or criminal activities
- Drivers receiving messages related to navigation or safety
- Drivers conducting wireless communications without manual entry or reading of messages
- Drivers operating self-driving vehicles with automated driving systems engaged
A police officer can’t access, confiscate, or search a driver’s device without a warrant unless the driver consents. They also can’t use improper methods like coercion to get consent. If a car accident while texting results in death or injury, however, billing records or testimony related to the device are permissible as evidence.
Texting and Driving Accident Statistics in Florida
How many car accidents are caused by texting while driving? According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida recently experienced its highest recorded number of distracted driving fatalities in at least eight years, with 333 deaths in one year. That year, the Sunshine State saw more than 56,000 distracted driving crashes, or more than 1,000 each week.
Also that year, drivers using electronic communication devices like cell phones contributed to 20 fatal accidents and more than 9,000 reported crashes statewide. Drivers using other electronic devices, such as navigation devices, contributed to six fatalities and more than 3,000 wrecks. Drivers texting while driving contributed to one fatality and nearly 300 accidents.
How to Prove the Other Driver Was Distracted
Proving distracted driving in an accident case requires substantial evidence. An attorney can investigate the accident on your behalf to identify and preserve useful evidence, such as:
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs and video footage of the crash and the moments leading up to it
- Social media posts
- Police reports
- Statements from first responders
- Data from the car’s black box
- Medical records
- Expert witness testimony
- Admissions of fault
- GPS data
- Traffic citations
- Physical evidence from the scene
- Audio recordings
- Data from in-car systems like OnStar
- Internet browsing history
- App usage records
- In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system data
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Talk to an Experienced CarAccident Attorney in Pensacola, FL, Today
Did you or someone close to you get hurt in a car accident caused by texting and driving? Don’t handle the aftermath alone. Secure your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve with the car accident lawyer at Cardoso Law, PLLC.
Contact us now to get started with your free initial consultation. We’re available 24/7 to address your questions and concerns.