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Texting and Driving


Personal Injury

The Gainesville attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. take note of the correlation between increased used of mobile devices and rise in accidents caused by driver distraction. Studies have shown that nearly a quarter of all auto crashes that occur nationwide involve the use of a cell phone. While dialing, talking, listening, and reaching for a cellular device can all increase the risk of an accident, texting and driving is, by far, the most dangerous distraction associated with cell phone use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorists that text message while driving are up to 23x more likely to crash.

Prompted by increasing public awareness of the safety issues associated with texting and driving, Florida initiated a statewide ban on texting while driving in 2013. Currently 43 states prohibit texting while driving. In contrast with the majority of states that have texting bans in place, however, Florida is amongst the 5 states that has elected to implement the ban as a secondary offense, as opposed to primary one. What this means is that a driver must be pulled over for a separate offense in order to be issued a ticket for texting and driving.

In addition to the recent legislation in Florida, there have been numerous local and statewide efforts aimed at addressing the increasing problem of texting-while-driving in our state. For example, the Expressway Authority launched its “Designated Texter” campaign in 2013, asking drivers to keep their “thumbs on the wheel” while a passenger is in the car that can text message for the driver. Other safe texting campaigns encourage drivers to sign a pledge agreeing to abide by one or more specified commitments, such as:

      • No text messaging while driving
      • No cell phone use at all while driving
      • Use of hands free device (if cell phone use necessary)
      • Encouraging others to refrain from texting and driving

Some anti-texting-and-driving safety campaigns, even offer incentives for those willing to sign a pledge, such as the Designated Texter Campaign’s reduced prices for Orlando Magic tickets.

For individuals in which the potential for being ticketed and the plethora of research data evidencing the dangers of text-related driver distractions are not enough to thwart that motorists’ use of cellular devices, perhaps such drivers might be swayed by considering the potential exposure to liability. Drivers must keep in mind that cell phone records document all communications, including both incoming and outgoing text messages. As such, if an accident occurs, records can be obtained and presented as evidence to support a party’s negligence. Likewise, a claimant’s cell phone records can be used by an opposing party to negate allegations of negligence, which can potentially reduce the percentage of fault assigned to that party.

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The attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. understand that while we cannot prevent the negligent actions of other motorists, we each can do our part to contribute to safety awareness and accident prevention. Our Personal Injury team  encourage all motorists practice what we call the ‘Four Rs’ of safe texting:

    • Refrain from texting while your vehicle is in motion
    • Remind our children and others that texting and driving is unacceptable
    • Refuse to travel as a passenger in a vehicle in which the driver is texting
    • Reject partaking in communications with persons while they are driving

Through practicing safe texting, we can all play a role in the prevention of accidents. At the same time, however, our attorneys know that no matter what efforts are taken to decrease the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle, many will continue to put others at risk by engaging in the reckless activity of texting and driving. We believe that when the negligent actions of a motorist causes injury to another, the victim should be compensated for their resulting damages.

The professional, knowledgeable, and experienced Auto Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. recognize the absolute need for thorough investigation following a car accident. With decades of practice experience, we also know the vital importance of making use of any and all available evidentiary sources—including cell phone records. Let us help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.