In an age where connectivity is at our fingertips, the peril of texting and driving has emerged as a pressing concern on today’s roads, Plantation in Broward County included.
Texting requires people to take their eyes off the road, leading to potential dangers such as veering into another lane, missing traffic signals, or failing to see obstructions. It significantly increases the likelihood of distracted driving accidents and puts the driver and other road users at risk.
Florida law prohibits texting while driving and any form of manual data entry while operating a vehicle. This article discusses the dangers, preventive measures, legal actions, and penalties surrounding this hazardous practice.
Dangers of Texting While Driving
As per the NHTSA, distracted driving has emerged as a primary reason for vehicle accidents in the United States.  Texting causes:
- Distraction: Texting diverts attention from the road, requiring visual, cognitive, and manual focus on the phone rather than the surroundings. It significantly increases the risk of accidents.
- Reduced Reaction Time: Using a phone diminishes a driver’s ability to react promptly to changing road conditions, traffic signals, or unexpected obstacles. Even a momentary delay in response can lead to a collision.
- Impaired Decision-Making: Texting while driving compromises a driver’s ability to make quick and sound decisions. Splitting attention between the phone and the road impairs judgment, increasing the likelihood of errors in judgment.
- Increased Collision Risk: Statistics show that texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision than those focused on the road.  The risk of a crash escalates significantly due to divided attention.
- Legal and Financial Consequences: Beyond the immediate safety risks, texting while driving can have legal implications such as fines, license suspension, and increased insurance rates. The economic and legal aftermath of an accident can be severe. It also could result in personal injury claims against the at-fault driver.
How to Avoid Being Distracted by Your Phone While Driving?
To avoid being distracted by your phone while driving, you can take several practical steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Set your phone to Do Not Disturb mode before you start driving, which prevents notifications from coming through and tempting you to check your phone.
Use a hands-free device for calls instead of texting so you can still communicate without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
Pre-programming your GPS before driving can also help you stay focused on the road instead of fumbling with your phone for directions.
Penalties for Texting While Driving in Plantation, Florida
In Florida State, texting while driving is considered a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement can pull over motorists solely for this violation.
The Florida ban on texting while driving law is intended to:
- Enhance safety on roadways for everyone who uses them, including drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.
- Avoid accidents caused by texting while operating a motor vehicle.
- Reduce injuries, fatalities, property damage, health care costs, health insurance, and automobile insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes.
- Allow law enforcement officers to pull over vehicles and give tickets to individuals texting while operating a vehicle. 
The penalties for texting while driving in Plantation include fines, points on the driver’s license, and potential increases in insurance rates.
For a first offense, the fine is $30, with an increase to $60 for a second offense within five years. In addition to fines, a conviction for texting while driving in Plantation will add three points to the driver’s license. Accumulating too many points within a specific timeframe can lead to license suspension.
The penalties can vary based on the individual’s specific circumstances and prior driving record. As such, the best practice is to refrain from texting while driving to ensure the safety of all road users and avoid these penalties altogether.
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Accident While Texting and Driving?
If you are involved in an accident while texting and driving, it is important to take the following steps.
- Ensure Safety: Check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If possible, move to a secure location away from traffic to prevent further harm.
- Contact Emergency Services: Dial 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if anyone is injured. Law enforcement should also be notified to document the incident.
- Exchange Information: Exchange necessary information with the other parties involved, such as names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle registration numbers.
- Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and visible injuries. The documentation can serve as significant evidence.
- Refrain from Admitting Fault: Avoid admitting fault or making statements that might imply responsibility for the accident. Stick to factual information when interacting with other parties or law enforcement.
- Consult Legal Counsel: Consider seeking legal advice from our attorneys experienced in handling accidents involving distracted driving. They can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
- Inform Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance provider about the accident. However, refrain from providing detailed statements until you consult legal counsel.
- Comply with Authorities: Cooperate with law enforcement and follow their instructions. Provide accurate information when filing a police report.
- Avoid Texting or Sharing Details on Social Media: Refrain from discussing the accident on social media or texting about it, as these communications could be used against you in legal proceedings.
Goldberg & Loren’s personal injury lawyers in Planation are dedicated to helping victims of texting and driving accidents seek justice and fair compensation. Call today for a free consultation.
Goldberg & Loren also advocates for those affected by distracted drivers all over Florida, including:
South Florida, West Florida, East Florida, Central Florida, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Daytona Beach, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, Fort Myers, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Broward Boulevard, etc.
 Leicht, A. (2023, September 13). Texting And Driving Statistics 2023. Forbes Advisor. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/texting-driving-statistics/
 Caird, J. K., Johnston, K. A., Willness, C. R., Asbridge, M., & Steel, P. (2014, October 1). A meta-analysis of the effects of texting on driving. Accident Analysis & Prevention. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2014.06.005
 Statutes & Constitution:View Statutes : Online Sunshine. (n.d.). http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.305.html