Driver Improving After Seriously Injured in Five-Car Crash
A 20-year-old Gainesville driver, who apparently started a five-car crash, has had his medical status upgraded from critical to good condition. The young man is at Shands at the University of Florida after a January 7 crash that began when the northbound driver ran a red light at Second Avenue and Southwest 34th Street in Gainesville. His Kia sedan first rear-ended a car stopped at a red light at University Avenue. Then, according to a Gainesville Sun report, a chain reaction was set off, causing the Kia to overturn onto its roof.
Altogether, five vehicles were involved in the car crash, which also injured three people in the vehicles involved. A witness says the Kia was traveling about 50 or 60 mph when he hit the cars ahead and his vehicle ricocheted off and into other cars. No charges have been filed. The Kia driver had to be extracted from his vehicle by first responders.
We don’t know if this driver is guilty of texting or otherwise distracted driving, but that is one of the first things investigators will uncover by looking at his cell phone records.
Florida is still one of 15 states without any ban on texting or cell phone use while behind the wheel and during this year’s legislative session it will again be addressed, but as in the past, there seems to be very little incentive to enact any bans in Florida.
A bill introduced by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, would punish drivers as a secondary offense if found texting while driving. Like our early seat belt laws, that means law enforcement could not pull you over for texting, but would have to pull you over initially for some other offense such as reckless driving or speeding. Florida distracted driving accident lawyers suggest drivers in the Sunshine State keep an eye on SB 416 over the next two months as it could be the first step to addressing a dangerous situation.