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Florida Drivers When is it Okay to Use Your Smartphone While Behind the Wheel
September 5, 2017

Today’s distracted drivers have created a whole new category of problems and concerns on the roadway. These troublesome drivers come in many different forms. The distracted driver who is eating, drinking, and looking everywhere but the road has been around since the advent of the automobile, unfortunately. They may even groom—brushing their hair, applying lipstick, and more. Passengers may be distracting the driver, as well as other factors.

Often, weather and other factors diminish the driver's focus. However, the smartphone has become a central focus of problems. Not only are many distracted drivers busy talking on the phone today, but they may also be texting, putting everyone else on the road in further danger.

Many motorists are extremely conscientious, however, and along with being safe, they also don’t want to be involved in illegal activity. Like many other states today, Florida has banned texting and driving, with the intent to save lives—not only of motorists but also of individuals walking, riding bicycles, and sharing the road. The ban on texting was also created in the hopes that there would be less property damage from accidents and a reduction in costs for both car and health insurance.

However, many drivers may be surprised to find that there are some cases where you would not be penalized for having the cell phone in hand while behind the wheel. Examples include:

  • Calling law enforcement to inform them of an emergency or criminal activity
  • Activities ‘related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle’
  • Engaging in seeking information related to city traffic, weather, or emergency issues
  • Listening to the radio
  • Using a device with ‘wireless interpersonal communication’ that is hands-free
  • When operating a self-driving vehicle

It can already be very difficult for law enforcement to prove that someone was texting and driving unless they caught them in the act. It’s hoped motorists would not abuse the latitude for navigating or seeking emergency information. For those caught texting while driving, penalties include fines and points on the driver’s license—and repeat offenders may eventually lose their right to drive.

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a distracted driver’s negligence? If so, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury law firm that will look out for your and your family's needs. The lawyers at Heintz Law have been helping clients in the Bradenton-Sarasota area for over 30 years with car, truck, and motorcycle injury accidents and cases involving other forms of negligence. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!


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Sarasota, FL 34237

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