Texting While Driving
Although Orlando personal injury lawyers such as James O. Cunningham and other attorneys throughout Florida have strongly supported a ban on cell phone use while driving, Florida remains one of the few states in the country without laws banning the practice. However, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone use by drivers is common whether a state has laws preventing it or not.
Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham would like to remind readers to exercise extra care while driving during the upcoming holiday season and heed the advice given recently by two Orlando firefighter paramedics. Paramedics Joe McCluan and Scott Neusch recently presented a Stay Alive From Education (SAFE) program to Air Force cadets, where they showed graphic photos and grisly videos from auto accidents and had cadets participate in role-playing exercises to illustrate the poor choices that some drivers make that lead to accidents.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers are asking for information in connection with a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Orange County that killed two elderly women. Troopers are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has any information about it to contact them at 407-737-2213 as soon as possible. FHP spokesperson Sgt. Kim Montes says that the law enforcement community is looking for a white Honda with a spoiler on the back and halogen or blue-tinted headlights in connection with the accident.
A recent bicycle accident has claimed the life of a 52-year-old man, who was struck and killed by a SUV while riding on Old Cheney Highway near State Road 50. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigation is still underway, but troopers report that the man was struck by a 2002 Ford SUV driven by a 19-year-old man. Troopers say the driver was eastbound on S.R. 50 when he attempted to make a right turn onto Old Cheney Highway. The driver told troopers that he lost control of the steering wheel while making the turn and struck the bicyclist. A FHP spokesperson told reporters that charges are pending against the driver and will be announced when the investigation is complete. The bicyclist suffered massive head injuries and died at the scene of the accident.
A recent three-car auto accident on US-17 in Volusia County killed one man and sent another to a local hospital with serious injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol’s (FHP) investigation into the accident is still ongoing, but troopers expect to press charges against at least one of the drivers involved in the crash. Troopers say that a 33-year-old Pierson man was driving his 1995 Toyota Camry northbound on US-17 when he slowed to make a left turn. He was followed by a 41-year-old man, also from Pierson, who was driving a 2003 GMC. Troopers say that the driver of the GMC failed to slow down or stop his vehicle as the Camry slowed to make his turn and collided with the Camry.
Recently, there has been plenty of media coverage and evidence to indicate that driving while texting or talking on a cell phone significantly reduces a driver’s ability to focus on driving their vehicle. All these telecommunications devices are wonderful, but multiple studies have shown that talking or texting while driving is far more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. In Florida, a very disturbing and increasingly common cause of car accidents is drivers distracted by talking or texting on their cell phone. Stop at any stoplight and at least half of the drivers around you will be talking on their phones. Florida has not banned the use of cell phones while driving. Florida Senate Bill 172, or “Heather’s Law”, which would have restricted the use of cell phones while driving-died in committee in May 2009. The existing law simply states that drivers must keep their vehicles under control. However, given the rising number of accidents from distracted drivers from minor fender benders to horrible head-on collisions, it is in everyone’s best interests that Florida’s lawmakers pass legislation with some teeth in it to discourage cell phone use while driving.
A Florida retiree has had enough of distracted drivers who text while driving their vehicles at 70 mph and more on Interstate 95.
“I think that a law should be passed that it is a major offense for any phone or texting to be done while driving,” said the man who does not believe motorists should so much as munch a sandwich behind the wheel.
Driving while distracted is a growing problem in Florida and throughout the rest of the country as some drivers answer cell phones and text messages instead of concentrating on driving their vehicles safely. The Obama administration recently banned federal employees from texting and driving. Members of Congress have said that law enforcement officials and the American public must team up to discourage distracted driving for everyone’s safety.