Florida is one of a handful of states that still permits texting while driving. In other states, those guilty of the behavior can face tickets, fines and other punishments. While a driver in the Sunshine State may not get pulled over for sending or reading a text, they can face serious consequences in the event of a car accident.
There are some reports that suggest that a driver can travel roughly 100 yards while reading or sending a text. For about the length of a football field, that driver’s eyes are off the road completely. This can result in rear-end collisions, swerving, crossing into oncoming traffic and other dangerous situations.
A new study by AAA is showing that, despite the warnings and possibility of punishment, young drivers are still texting while driving. They are also eating, shaving and putting on makeup. By far, however, the use of phones was the most common and most distracting behavior.
According to the study, girls are 50 percent more likely to get distracted behind the wheel. Even though boys are more likely to turn around in their seats while driving, girls are twice as likely to talk or text on their phones. Distracted driving behavior also increases markedly when a parent is not in the car.
Research into driving habits and distracted driving is going on everywhere. The University of Florida will be conducting research this summer, after receiving a major federal grant.
Even though Florida law does not prohibit the use of a phone while driving, distracted drivers can still cause serious accidents. Anyone who is hurt by someone else’s negligence may want to consider filing a lawsuit in order to receive compensation from the guilty party.
Source: Tampa Bay Online, “Study: Girls more likely to text, call while driving,” Richard Mullins, March 27, 2012