We believe that Florida must adopt a distracted driving law that, at the least, prohibits texting behind the wheel.
Stuart, FL (PRWEB) November 16, 2012
Florida car accident attorney Philip DeBerard, III, said today that he supports renewed efforts to pass a ban on texting while driving in the state legislature.
Sen. Nancy Detert told WFTV this week that she had filed a bill to ban texting while driving in Florida. It is her fifth attempt. Last spring, Detert introduced legislation that would have prohibited text messaging while driving in Florida but allowed use of wireless communication devices while stopped at a red light. The bill died in committee.
“We hope that this new bill will result in Florida joining the majority of U.S. states that have concluded correctly that texting while driving is a serious hazard that leads to car accidents and unnecessary injury and death,” said DeBerard, a veteran Florida personal injury attorney whose firm is an advocate of distracted-driving awareness.
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, maintains an active “Hang Up and Drive” Facebook page about the dangers of texting while driving or talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel. The page also discusses legal rights and options available to victims of distracted driving car accidents.
DeBerard has encouraged Florida companies to have their employees sign a pledge that they will not use a cell phone while operating a company vehicle or their own vehicle while in the course of their employment. (To request a form, please e-mail the firm at MichelleC@flainjurylawyer.com.)
“We believe that Florida must adopt a distracted driving law that, at the least, prohibits texting behind the wheel,” DeBerard said.
Florida has no law addressing texting or using a cell phone while driving. Thirty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the territory of Guam ban text messaging by all drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Ten states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands prohibit all use of hand-held cell phones while driving, the NHTSA says.
Detert's bill would make texting while driving a secondary offense, WFTV said. That means an officer would have to stop a driver for another offense, like speeding or not wearing a seat belt, before they could charge them with texting while driving.
“Those who have opposed this ban in the past should recognize the destruction that texting-while-driving accidents are bringing into too many Floridians’ lives,” DeBerard said.
The NHTSA says 3,092 people were killed in car crashes attributed to distracted driving in 2010, and estimates that 416,000 more were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver.
“Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming [driver] distraction,” the NHTSA says.
DeBerard pursues personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of South Florida and Treasure Coast residents who have been seriously injured in car accidents.
“A person who is seriously injured in a car accident may be facing a difficult recovery that includes physical, emotional and financial losses,” he said. “Those individuals have a right to be compensated for such losses when they are unjust, such as when they are caused by the recklessness of someone who was texting while driving.”
About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, dog bite injuries, slip and fall injuries, swimming pool accidents and wrongful death claims. The firm is located at 215 SW Federal Highway, #300, Stuart, FL 34994 (local phone (772) 286-1000). The firm represents clients throughout the South Florida communities of Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach and across the state of Florida. For more information, call (800) 299-8878 or use the firm’s online contact form.