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Could Texting and Cell Phone Bans Reduce or Increase Florida Truck Accidents?

Florida legislators have tried to pass legislation that would ban cell phone use and texting while driving for years but have been unsuccessful. While supporters of such legislation claim that texting and cell phone bans for drivers would help prevent Florida truck accidents and car accidents, others claim that texting and cell phone bans might actually increase traffic accidents.

While it seems counter-intuitive, given the media coverage about the dangers of texting, some experts note that many commercial truck drivers rely on cell phones to communicate while on the job. If a cell phone ban was in place, drivers would have to pull over frequently in order to contact their dispatcher or company, and these sudden stops could actually increase the number of Florida truck accidents. As well, if hand-held devices were banned, truckers and motorists would still likely be able to use hands-free phones, and there is no confirmation that such devices are not just as dangerous as regular mobile devices.
As well, opponents of texting bans point out that texting and cell phones are not the only distractions causing Florida truck accidents. In fact, many Florida car accidents and truck accidents caused by distracted driving are caused by a myriad of distractions. Drivers put on make up, change music, adjust GPS devices, chat with passengers, shave, change clothes, drink, sip coffee, and do many other things while driving. All of these behaviors are a distraction and are potentially risky. However, it is impossible to create individual legislation banning each of these possible distracting behaviors in cars or trucks. It’s just not feasible. Therefore, a texting ban alone might not help prevent Florida truck accidents and traffic accidents caused by distracted drivers, simply because many other types of distracted driving would remain.

Many opponents of the texting ban also note that enforcing the ban would be almost impossible and would stretch law enforcement resources even further. If a ban were in place, some experts predict, some drivers would simply keep their mobile devices in their lap while texting, making it hard for law enforcement to see who was breaking the law. In addition, keeping mobile devices on laps while texting might result in even more Florida truck accidents and car accidents, according to experts, as it would cause drivers to see the road even less.

Advocates of texting bans note that many Florida bus accidents, train accidents, car accidents, and truck accidents have been linked to cell phone use and texting specifically and that even if the legislation saved only some lives or prevented some injuries the law would be worth passing. Opponents note that every new technology – even the introduction of the radio in cars – has been greeted with similar concerns about safety until drivers simply got used to the new technology.

If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, contact the experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group for help. The Flaxman Law Group has successfully helped thousands of Florida car accident survivors and can offer advice as well as immediate help. Serving the Hollywood, Miami, Homestead and surrounding South Florida area, the Flaxman Law Group is proud to help Florida traffic accident survivors.