Safe Phone Zones Created for Florida Drivers
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has launched a new campaign to prevent distracted driving accidents. In conjunction with GEICO, FDOT has created 64 “Safe Phone Zones,” where drivers can pull over and use their phones. If you haven’;t seen the new blue signs for safe zones yet, you will soon. They are mainly placed near rest areas, welcome centers and turnpike service plazas. These signs and safe zones are meant to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving while encouraging drivers to pull over before using their phone.
While it is not clear if motorists will use these safe zones, it is apparent that distracted driving is a serious and growing problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 424,000 people were injured in distracted related accidents in the year 2013. That is an increase from the 421,000 people injured in distracted driver accidents the previous year.
To reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, many states have adopted primary cell phone laws. Florida, however, only enacted secondary distracted driving laws for motorists in the year 2013. As a secondary offense, drivers must get pulled over for another traffic violation before facing citations for driving while texting, calling or checking emails.
States that have enacted strict cell phone laws typically experience a drop in distraction-related crashes. According to one recent study published in The American Journal of Public Health, primarily enforced laws banning all drivers from texting were significantly associated with a three percent reduction in traffic fatalities in all age groups.
Whenever you are behind the wheel, please put your phone away. If you have to make a call or send a text, pull over and come to a complete stop. Being distracted can impair your ability to drive safely as much as being intoxicated. Looking at your phone can also delay your reaction time and increase your chances of being in a crash.
If another motorist injures you due to not paying attention, it may be possible to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced Florida car accident attorney at Farah & Farah can help you better understand your legal rights and options.