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


  • 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, 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.






Driven To Distraction: Campaign To End Texting While Driving


Creative messaging is all around us, competing for our attention, bombarding our senses with information. Big messages call to us from wall signage, billboards, shop windows, and public transportation. Equally important are the small messages—the ones printed on coffee mugs, t-shirts, team caps, key rings. Even a small item like a wristband can attract ones attention and convey a compelling call to action.


One of the most common ways for people to send messages is texting. We love texting! It’s fun and immediate. We feel connected. In a world where we can “get the word out” around the globe in moments, social connectivity has become the norm; we constantly seek ways to reach out to others.


However, as a recent AT&T campaign advises, some messages should wait—when our eyes are drawn to texting and away from the road while driving, even if just for a few seconds, we become … distracted.


The Dangers of Distraction


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken a focused look at distractions and driving. NHTSA has established to define distracted driving, present personal video accounts of the results of distracted driving, and offer creative ideas for getting involved in spreading the word about the dangers of texting behind the wheel.


According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is “…any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” The definition goes on to include examples of distractions we may all take for granted, such as consuming food and drink, reading or looking at maps, using a GPS, putting on makeup, even conversation with other people in the car. And the most dangerous driving distraction of all … texting.


What makes texting at the wheel so dangerous? It’s a triple threat, due to the demand it makes on 1) cognitive processing, 2) manual coordination, and 3) vision. It’s challenging enough for new drivers just to stay in their own lanes. Texting while driving draws all three of these faculties away from the road ahead and redirects all of your awareness down to the little screen in your hand.


A study conducted by NHTSA revealed that texting while driving, whether sending or receiving a text, draws vision away from the road for 4.6 seconds. That seems like just a moment. Perhaps you feel quite confident that you can look away from the road for a mere five seconds and still maintain safe operation of your vehicle.


Nevertheless, did you know that if you are driving “blind” at 55 mph, in 4.6 seconds you will travel the full length of a football field?


That’s pretty sobering.


In 4.6 seconds, a child could run into the road. A biker could lose control and fall into the path of your vehicle. A light could turn red while you keep going. A pedestrian could step off a curb.


Your whole life could change. In 4.6 seconds, your life—or someone else’s—could be over.


You can find more “Driving While InTEXTicated” statistics in an excellent infographic at this link:


Preventive Action


Many high schools and other private and federal agencies around the country are seeking ways to educate people about the dangers of texting while driving.


Lancaster Online and the Palm Beach Post report the use of driving simulators at Manheim Central High School in Pennsylvania, and West Boca Raton High School in Florida, to demonstrate for students the true difficulty of operating a vehicle while texting. The participants at both schools thought it would be easy but discovered that if those simulated conditions were live, they would have caused serious, if not fatal, accidents.


AT&T’s don’t-text-and-drive campaign tagline is: “It Can Wait.” Click the “Videos” link on AT&T’s campaign site ( to watch compelling stories from survivors and family members who texted some simple message, a word or two that could have waited, and their lives were changed forever.


Get Involved


A teacher at NDSU gave each of her interns in the Sanford Respiratory Care Program a task. They were to hand out a number of “Don’t Drive InTXTicated” wristbands to their coworkers to discourage texting while driving.


One student gave them out to her PM shift coworkers, along with a card she had typed up with some statistics related to driving incidents. The cards were meant to be carried by the participants in their vehicle, handbag, or wallet, as a constant reminder of their pledge to not “drive & text.” They are proudly sporting their wristbands and carrying their reminder cards!



Texting while driving is a serious problem. 100,000 crashes each year involve texting at the wheel. Try to think of ways you can start a pledge-based don’t-text-and-drive campaign in your community, among your co-workers, and with your friends. Your “Don’t Drive InTXTicated” campaign could save a life. If just one person makes the pledge, your campaign will be a success!


Dick Nelson, CEO of MARCO Promotional Products, has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years. Dick has never thought of his work as work, but rather as an intriguing place to spend his working hours. Away from the workplace, he enjoys playing golf, much of the time with his wife, and spending time with his children and grandchildren when he can.