Texting and Driving in Florida: The Consequences and Dangers.

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Close up of female hand holding smatrphone and typing while driving. Woman texting message using cellphone sitting in car. Answering call while being at wheel. Hand with phone on car cabin background.

Did you know 25% of all car crashes in the US involve the use of a cell phone? Distracted driving happens every day in the United States causing 1.6 million car accidents each year. Texting while driving has become a serious issue across the United States and it’s time to understand just how dangerous it is and the consequences of reckless driving. In 2017, Florida, otherwise known as the Sunshine State had the nation’s second highest number of distracted driving accidents and because of the high amounts of distracted driving, it became illegal to text and drive on July 1, 2019. As of January 1, 2020, anyone caught texting and driving in the state of Florida will have to pay a fine for the offense.

So, What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity you decide to engage in while behind the wheel that prevents you from keeping your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, or your mind off of your main task which is driving from point A to point B. Some of the many forms of distracted driving include:

  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Being distracted by other in the car
  • Changing radio stations
  • Finding a song on your phone or iPod
  • Brushing your hair/ putting makeup on
  • Using a navigation system

Although all forms of distracted driving are dangerous, texting and driving is by far the worst. Did you know studies have shown that drivers who engage in texting behaviors while driving look away from the road 400 percent more frequently than those are refrain from texting while driving.

Why Is Texting and Driving So Dangerous?

Texting and driving is dangerous for many reasons. When you’re on the road it’s imperative that you never take your eyes off because there are so many things that could happen the minute you put your car into drive. Children playing in the street, lights constantly changing, and other distracted drivers on the road are all things that play a huge part in why there are so many accidents and fatalities each year.

Not only could you potentially hurt someone, you could take the life away from someone in the blink of an eye. If you have ever been distracted while driving because of a text or notification on your phone, remember that there are consequences. Put the phone down and arrive alive.

The Penalty for Texting and Driving in Florida

Regardless if you are a resident or just visiting the Sunshine State, if you get caught texting and driving the authorities can give you a $30 fine for the first offense. If you get caught a second time, you can receive a $60 fine and 3 points off of your license. Another thing to consider is court fees if you continuously get pulled over for this offense. The fees can eventually add up and could potentially cost you your license. Be mindful and get to your destination safely.

The Costs of Texting and Driving

If you get into an accident because you or the other party were texting and driving, it’s safe to say that you or that person will be getting a much pricier fine that $30. According to industry experts, if you get into an accident that requires you to make an insurance claim, you can expect your rates to increase more that 30%. In addition to these costs, you could potentially be sued if you injure the other party in any way or in other cases, take the life of someone else.

Texting and driving can lead to accidents and a lot of the time you’re going to see windshield damage. Here at Auto Glass Doc, we are dedicated to fixing those unexpected damages.

What Are the Laws Against Cell Phone Use and Driving Nationwide?

There are 46 states nationwide to this day that have banned all texting and driving. All but 5 states use primary enforcement. A “primary offense” is when law enforcement witnesses you texting while driving and pulls you over JUST for that. They are allowed to ticket you for just that one offense. A “secondary offense” is when law enforcement witnesses you texting while driving but also sees you committed another offense including speeding, swerving, or even driving without a seatbelt on.

Fun Fact: Florida is currently one of the five states that considers texting and driving a secondary offense only.

Statistics in the Sunshine State

  • Drivers ages 20-24 years old made up the highest number of distracted driving crashes, followed closely by 25-29 year old’s and 15-19 year old’s.
  • Drivers under the age of 30 accounted for more than 12,000 crashes in 2019 from distracted driving.
  • Teens make up 4.5 percent of licensed drivers, yet in 2015 they were responsible for 11.7 percent of distracted driving crashes.

What You Should Know About Texting and Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most underreported traffic accidents across the US. When someone is involved in a crash that they caused they are unlikely to lay all of the facts out there and hold themselves accountable. Because of this decision made by many people each day, it’s hard to really get an accurate number for how many people are affected by this horrible decision.

Texting while driving is a continuous battle for law enforcement and it’s important to understand just how dangerous this act can be. Risking someone else’s life and your own life is something that shouldn’t be considered when getting into your car and driving. Take your time, stay off of your phone, and be aware of the risks and consequences you are taking every time you take your eyes off the road.

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