No Texting While Driving

Harsher Penalties for Texting While Driving Coming?

No Texting While Driving
There is no arguing that texting and driving has become a serious cause of automobile accidents in the United States. So much so, in fact, that it has actually become a front-burner issue for a number of organizations, from branches of the government to cellphone companies. “It can wait” bumper stickers are popping up on cars everywhere, and all across the nation, laws are being developed to prevent and discourage texting while driving.

 

Florida is no exception. There are laws on the books against texting while driving, and now Florida’s anti-texting and driving campaign seems to be picking up speed as multiple new bills are set to appear before Florida Legislature this spring, as reported by News-Press.

 

Texting and Driving Laws in Florida

 

Dangers of Distracted Driving

As mentioned above, it is already against the law to text while driving in Florida. However, doing so is only a secondary offence, meaning that police officers can offer citations for it only if the driver was pulled over for another reason. According to News-Press, the new bills that are set to appear before Legislature this spring would serve to enhance those existing laws. Some new laws that these bills seek to enact include:

 

  • Making texting while driving a primary offense, so that texting and driving itself would be an acceptable reason to pull a person over
  • Imposing a criminal penalty on any driver who was using a cell phone at the time of a fatal accident
  • Forbidding all cell phone use when driving in school zones

 

If even one of these bills passes, it could seriously change things for Florida drivers. If drivers continue to text while driving, the consequences they face could be severe, from paying fines and doing community service to serving significant jail time. The increased accountability implied in all the proposed laws means that Florida drivers would have to be more cautious and more aware.

 

Dangers of Distracted Driving

 

In the United States, distracted driving is a problem of almost epidemic proportions. Anything from using a GPS, to traveling with a pet, to eating or drinking while driving can count as distracted driving, and all forms of distracted driving are extremely dangerous—not only for other drivers, but for pedestrians as well.

 

Still, however, men and women continue to drive while distracted, and the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths that occur as a result continues to climb. According to StopTextsStopWrecks.org:

 

  • As of 2012, 78% of teens and young adults say they have read a text message while driving, and 71% say they have composed or sent text messages while driving.
  • As of 2012, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash.
  • A person’s eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds while texting. If you’re traveling at 55mph, five seconds is enough time to cover the length of an entire football field.
  • Texting while driving enhances a person’s chance of getting into in a car crash by 23%.

 

Due in no small part to these statistics, “Take the pledge” campaigns gained a lot of popularity in recent years. According to ItCanWait.com, over 5 million people have signed their pledge to not text and drive. Clearly, drivers are aware of how dangerous it can be to text and drive. Yet far too many of them still do.

 

And other drivers and pedestrians on the road are suffering the consequences. Injuries that result from distracted driving accidents are many and varied, and they can be traumatizing not only to the victims but to their families and friends as well. Victims who have been hurt in distracted driving accidents may not only suffer the inconvenience of a damaged or totaled vehicle, they may also have to deal with personal injury in myriad forms—from minor cuts and bruises to lost limbs or disfigurement.

 

Hit by A Distracted Driver?

 

Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who was texting while driving, one of the first steps you take should be to speak to a qualified legal representative. Texting and driving is illegal and if you’ve been injured as a result of a distracted driver, you were injured by someone who was breaking the law. That person needs to be brought to justice, not only for your sake but also for the sake of other drivers and pedestrians who are at risk because of his or her negligence. Contact the law offices of Sootsky, Perez & Braxton today to get the compensation you need and put your life back on track.

 

 

 

 

Driverless Vehicles Are Already On Our Roads

Driverless Vehicles Are Already On Our Roads

Driverless Vehicles Are Already On Our Roads

Texting while driving. Falling asleep at the wheel. Driving after a few too many beers.

 

What do all of these mistakes have in common? They are all common causes of fatal car accidents, and they are all caused by humans.

 

“To err is human,” as the saying goes. That’s why car accidents frequently occur despite the best efforts of our society and government to prevent them. Nobody’s perfect, so you can’t expect our roads to be—right?

 

The innovators and engineers at Google and other major car manufacturers are out to change this. Throughout recent years, these manufacturers have been developing and testing fully autonomous vehicles—robotic cars that can navigate without a human driver. These self-driving vehicles use tools such as radar, GPS, and computer vision to navigate and sense their surroundings, identifying roads, obstacles, and traffic signals.

 

While you can’t go out and buy an autonomous vehicle today, it looks as though it will be a short matter of time before these smart cars appear on the market. The commercial use of these vehicles has already kicked off, with several companies testing out the use of driverless military trucks and mining machines. Many states—including Florida, California, and Nevada—have passed legislation for driverless cars, granting auto manufacturers permission to test autonomous vehicles on their roads.

 

The Potential Benefits of Driverless Cars

 

The Potential Benefits of Driverless Cars

According to the Rand Corporation in their report, Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, Liability of Drivers, and Insurance, putting autonomous vehicles on the road in the place of human drivers can reduce the number of auto accidents. “Human error causes the vast majority of crashes today, and, by reducing the risk of human error, AV technologies can reduce the incidence of crashes,” the report maintains. After all, computers do not get sleepy or sidetracked, and will be far more aware of their surroundings than most humans.

 

And reduced potential for human error is only one of the potential benefits of driverless cars. Autonomous cars may help to prevent traffic jams and congestion, resulting in fewer fuel emissions. No more will drivers have to lose hours to commutes, instead using the time to work or relax. In addition, autonomous cars can provide a means for disabled and blind people to travel safely.

 

Concerns and Liability Issues

 

Sounds great, right? However, there are still some concerns surrounding the use of driverless vehicles.

 

Road planning. Integrating autonomous cars into our transportation system will require extensive planning. For cars to operate without a driver, road safety and driving laws that have been in place for generations will have to be revised. Road and traffic signals must be perfectly planned to the last detail for systems to be able to navigate them without confusion.

 

Incapacity for human interaction. Simple hand signals from construction workers and police officers will be difficult for cars to interpret. Additionally, the negligent and aggressive habits of the cars’ fellow human drivers might confuse the vehicles’ navigation systems. As executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University Sven A. Beiker suggested to reporters in a New York Times article, an autonomous car may be “so polite it might be sitting at a four-way intersection forever, because no one else is coming to a stop.”

 

Boca Raton & West Palm Beach Auto Accident Lawyer

Technology problems. There’s also potential for technological disasters. Since vehicles will rely on satellite data, they are susceptible to attacks from hackers. Malicious hacking can cause extensive harm to computers and phones, and the potential for harm only increases when large, fast-moving vehicles are hacked. Additionally, autonomous cars filled with explosives could be used as weapons and bombs by terrorists.

 

Elimination of transportation-related jobs. If autonomous cars become widespread, automobile technicians, public transportation officials, and insurance agents may find themselves without an industry.

 

Liability and regulation issues. Regulation and liability questions abound. If there’s no driver behind the wheel, who will be held accountable if there is a problem—the person using the car or the manufacturer? What happens if a police officer wants to pull the car over? Will a self-driving car require a special kind of insurance?

 

Even though these autonomous vehicles can promote efficiency and eliminate human error, they can’t prevent accidents completely. And when an accident occurs, it will be difficult to prove fault if you are injured. When dealing with the complex issue of proving liability after a car accident—whether between two human drivers, a human driver and a robot driver, or two robot drivers—it’s best to contact an experienced auto accident attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate complicated liability laws, protect your rights, and obtain fair compensation after an accident.