Florida Highway Safety Laws Have Fallen Behind
One way that state governments can actively reduce the number of injury accidents is to pass and enforce traffic safety laws. There are a number of laws, such as seat belt laws and texting laws, which can save lives. According to the 2015 “Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws,” from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Florida ranks among the worst in the country for failing to adopt state laws that can prevent traffic accidents.
Florida is one of only nine states that received a red (danger) rating in the study. Florida only has six of the 15 basic traffic laws enacted. For example, Florida does not have four of the seven teen driving provisions. Many states make 16 the minimum age for a learner’;s permit, but Florida teens can get a permit at age 15.
Florida has also fallen well behind other states in enacting texting while driving laws. According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, two-thirds of drivers nationwide have admitted to reading a text or email while driving. In response to this growing problem, 39 states have banned text messaging for all drivers. Florida enacted a texting while driving restriction back in 2013, but it is only a secondary offense. This means that officers cannot pull drivers over solely for texting while driving. They must pull over motorists for something else, such as speeding, and then add a distracted driving citation on top of the primary offense.
There were more than 2,400 traffic fatalities in Florida in 2013. It is unclear if local officials will review the report and if they will take action to make Florida roadways safer. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of causing an accident. Remember to put away your cell phone, focus on the roadway, obey the speed limit, and never drive while impaired.
If you are injured in a Florida car accident, please do not hesitate to research your legal rights and options. Financial compensation may be available for your medical bills, lost wages, suffering, and other related damages. Please contact an experienced Florida car accident lawyer for more information.