Regular readers of this blog are very familiar with our state’s lack of cell phone legislation for drivers. They are also very familiar with Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham’s stance on this issue. He prefers a zero tolerance policy on cell phone use of any kind while driving and encourages state lawmakers to take decisive action on this issue to save lives. Currently, there are no state laws against texting, surfing the internet or making calls on cell phones while driving. Further, Florida does not allow communities to enact legislation against distracted cell phone driving.
Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all states impose total bans on cell phone use while driving, except in cases of emergency. Yet, in spite of clear evidence illustrating the dangers of talking and texting while behind the wheel, many law enforcement officials take a dim view of the NTSB recommendation.
One such dissenter is St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar, who, while admitting that texting while driving is “a killer,” does not support a national ban on cell phone use while driving.
“I think it can be handled at the state level,” he said.
Sadly, Florida lawmakers have repeatedly killed cell phone legislation in committee, and this reticence is taking a serious toll on the lives of Floridians. The Florida Highway Patrol recently conducted a study on cell phone use by drivers, and their findings are consistent with other studies conducted across the country. The FHP found that drivers who talk on their phones while driving are four times more likely to be involved in an accident. They found that cell phone use was the primary contributing factor in seven fatal auto accidents in our state in 2010, citing instances where talking or texting was definitely the cause of the accident.
They freely admit that their findings are very conservative and that cell phone use is very likely the cause of many more accidents and fatalities. FHP Lt. Bill Leeper cited the difficulties of singling out cell phone use in auto accidents.
“A lot of times, you can’t prove it,” he said. However, he said that he expected the problem to worsen in the coming months and years, saying, “It is increasingly becoming an issue because of the numbers of people who have cell phones.”
“Texting is even more dangerous,” he said.
Florida may not yet have laws against cell phone use on the books, but people injured by distracted drivers still have legal options. With the help of experienced, aggressive Orlando personal injury lawyers such as Mr. Cunningham, they can seek damages against negligent drivers and get the fair and just compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cunningham, call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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