Texting and driving accidents are all too common in Florida. In November 2012, an accident near the Gandy Bridge in St. Petersburg added to the unfortunate statistics. The driver, who was only 29 years old, died in a single vehicle accident. After overcorrecting his vehicle, he veered into the median, hitting a power pole and some palm trees. His cell phone was found lying in the front seat, an incomplete text message still displayed. This suggests that texting and driving caused his accident. Can you imagine the grief upon learning that a loved one died in a totally preventable accident?
Ban Texting and Driving
Florida is one of 11 states that do not have bans on texting and driving. Various bills have been introduced every year, but keep getting rejected. In coming years, safety advocates hope to see change. However, opponents to the texting and driving ban call it an infringement of personal freedom, or claim that it is an act of government interference.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as driving while simultaneously doing something else. They point to texting as a particularly dangerous distraction, because it requires a driver to take their
- hands off the wheel
- eyes off the road
- mind off safe driving
Thankfully, public awareness of the danger of texting and driving is improving. In November 2012, Tampa hosted Florida’s first distracted driving summit. At the summit, Ray LaHood, the United States Secretary of Transportation, implored Florida to push for the texting ban. People who lost loved ones in distracted driving accidents participated on a panel to raise awareness.
Injured in Clearwater or the Tampa Bay Area?
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed by a texting driver, consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to learn about your rights and legal remedies.