Ban On Texting While Driving Under Review By Florida Legislature

February 15, 2012

Texting while driving is illegal in thirty-five states and the District of Columbia. Some consider that texting while driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, according to herald-mail.com, the Motor Vehicle Administration of the State of Maryland considers that texting while driving slows down a driver's reaction time as much as if said driver had a blood alcohol level of .16 percent. That is twice the drinking limit in Florida, yet the Sunshine State does not have a ban on texting while driving. I guess that the Florida legislature does not consider those killed by a driver distracted while texting as dead as those killed by a drunk driver...

Often Considered, As Often Rejected

This is not the first time the Florida Legislature considers enacting a ban on texting while driving: one was killed at the committee level last year. The Republican dominated legislature considers anti-texting laws an intrusion into people's lives and points out that it is silly to try to regulate every thing we might do wrong. Moreover, as Jim Harper, Director for Information Policy Studies of the Libertarian Institute points out in support of the Republican position, "we already have laws that make it illegal to drive unsafely", which is what texting while driving is considered.

According to abcnews.go.com, a 2010 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that accidents have not decreased in those states where laws against texting while driving have been enacted. In reality they have increased slightly.

In fact, some researchers claim that the bans are making the situation worst by causing some drivers (who know it is illegal to text and drive) to place their cell phones down and out of sight when they text, which makes them take their eyes further away from the road.

Tractor-Trailer Drivers More Likely to Cause Accidents While Texting

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that commercial truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident when texting while driving. According to this study, which was commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who text take their eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds, which means that if the distracted driver is going at 55 MPH, the vehicle will have travelled the length of a football field (including both end zones) without the driver looking at the road.

Although the study found that a trucker's behavior while texting and driving does not differ much from that of other drivers, the inherent dangers of driving large commercial trucks make it more likely for this group to cause accidents. It is well known that due to its weight and size, it takes a considerably larger distance to stop an eighteen-wheeler than it does to stop an average family car. Not to mention that the ever growing size of these commercial trucks is likely to make any such accidents deadlier than those caused by average passenger cars.

The effect of a tractor-trailer driver getting distracted sending text messages while driving is like throwing gasoline on a raging fire. Throughout our careers we have seen how poorly some trucking companies train their drivers, how many of these drivers (driven by the trucking companies' greed as well as their own) work for longer hours than they should, how much larger tractor-trailers are now than 50 years ago and how often these trucks (also in the name of profit) are overloaded or loaded incorrectly. Now, modern life throws in texting while driving and the results could not be deadlier.

Experienced Lawyers

With more than 60 years of combined experience handling car accidents and tractor-trailer accident cases resulting in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, the attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. currently represent the estate of a young man recently killed when his Honda collided with an eighteen-wheeler. Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. The Miami Dade County Truck Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano has throughout the years represented many clients involved in traffic fatalities, traumatic brain injuries and serious personal injuries. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.