Florida Department of Transportation Establishes “Safe Phone Zones”
In a news release by the Florida Department of Transportation, the agency announced that it will team with a popular car insurance company to establish safe phone zones. The program comes as Florida continues to struggle with the issue of distracted driving on its roads. Distracted driving has increased over 25% since 2012, and the cost to everyone involved continues to increase as well.
This program was established because distracted driving is dangerous. It doesn’t matter whether the distraction comes from cell phone use, eating while driving, doing makeup, or some other distraction; distracted drivers cause accidents and those accidents can be very serious. Drivers and passengers can be catastrophically injured and even killed. Hopefully this new program will help reduce the number and severity of distracted driving accidents that happen every day in Florida.
What the Program will Do
The program will create ‘safe phone zones’ where drivers can pull over and use their phones safely. Drivers will be alerted to the stops by billboards announcing when a safe phone zone is coming up on the road. Then the driver can pull over, use their phone, and get back on the road. There are currently 71 safe phone zones on Florida highways, with an additional nine planned under the program.
This program has been established on the heels of evidence that distracted driving is at least as dangerous as drunk driving. Researchers from the University of Utah recently studied this issue, finding that distracted drivers using a cell phone had delayed braking reactions, and are involved in more traffic accidents than when not using a cell phone.
Florida Distracted Driving Laws
As the law currently stands, there is a ban on using a cellphone’s texting function while driving. To be sure, under the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,” drivers are banned from texting and driving. But some argue that this law does not go far enough. One of the reasons is that while texting and driving is illegal, it is only a secondary offense. That means that a police officer cannot pull someone over for texting and driving unless the driver is doing something else that is against the law, for example, speeding or driving recklessly.
Beyond traffic laws, there are other laws that protect safe drivers from unsafe, distracted drivers. Personal injury law can compensate a victim of distracted driving. Under the law, every driver has a duty to drive reasonably. This duty is imposed on all of us to ensure that the roads are safe for everyone. If a driver breaches that duty, then they are financially responsible (liable) for the resulting injuries caused.
What to Do if Injured by a Distracted Driver
If you live in the Miami area and are injured in an accident by a distracted driver, contact us so we can evaluate your case. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., we are prepared to advocate aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.