Florida residents often drive their car as easily as breathing, and it has become an almost automated task to get into the car and go. Many drivers multi-task behind the wheel, dividing their attention between the road and other concerns such as eating, selecting music, and talking with others in the car. Distracted driving contributes to car accidents every day, from minor fender benders to fatalities.
According to Orlando Weekly, there have been multiple bills filed for the 2019 legislative session addressing the issues of cell phone use and texting devices that are not hands-free. One of these measures, if passed, would make a hand-held cell phone use a primary violation. Currently, drivers only receive cell phone use citations if law enforcement stops them for other moving violations. By making it a primary offense, police officers could stop motorists and issue tickets specifically for using the hand-held device.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that phone use while driving is among the most common distractions. Most states have laws banning hand-held phone use for all drivers. Studies indicate that enforcing the ban reduces cell phone use. Campaigns such as It Can Wait, led by AT&T, works with consumer safety groups, law enforcement, educators, and more to prevent social media use, web surfing, and texting while driving.
In 2017, distracted driving resulted in more than 3,100 fatalities on U.S. roadways. Today, 47 states have laws that ban texting while driving, 38 states make cell phones illegal for novice drivers, and 16 states prohibit all drivers from hand-held phone use.