As an auto accident attorney firm in Florida, we see many clients come to us after being the victim of a distracted driving incident. Even though it is illegal in many states, people still text while operating a vehicle. However, distracted driving doesn’t just apply to texting. The law doesn’t ban drivers from applying makeup while driving, but it can still lead to crashes and fender benders. So how can you protect yourself, and where does the law stand on distracted driving? Read on to learn more.
What is Distracted Driving?
In the state of Florida, it is illegal to text while driving. However, the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” doesn’t cover all use of a cellular device while driving. While it bans drivers from texting, emailing, and instant messaging, there are many cases when it doesn’t apply. Florida Statute 316.305 notes that exceptions to the ban include:
- Those reporting an emergency, criminal activity, or otherwise alerting law enforcement to an issue
- Safety-related messages, such as traffic, weather, or emergency alerts
- Using a device for navigation
Therefore, just because someone is using their phone, they aren’t necessarily doing something illegal. If you’re in an accident in Florida, you’ll need an auto accident attorney to prove they were negligent and therefore responsible for the incident if you want to recover damages.
Distracted driving does include texting, but it extends beyond devices. Drivers can become distracted while eating or drinking, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or air conditioning, zoning out, and more. Just about anything that takes the driver’s full attention from the road and operating the vehicle safely is considered distracting.
How to Protect Yourself Against Distracted Driving
Every time you drive, you should practice defensive driving. This means you actively identify potential dangers while on the road and anticipate potential situations to avoiding them. Defensive driving helps prevent crashes by assuming other drivers will not operate their vehicle as expected. Don’t assume someone with their turn signal on is going to turn; wait for them to complete the turn before pulling out into traffic. Moves like this can save you from needing an auto accident attorney in Florida.