Your right to live is more important than someone else using a cell phone to call, text or read email. Yet, there are only three states in the US and its territories which do not have a single cell phone while driving law on the books: Florida, Montana and South Dakota. State accidents reports note that distracted drivers cause more accidents than drunk drivers.
Florida – Where Health Briefs TV Studios are Located
The Florida DMV states the number one cause of accidents is distracted driving. Yet, there are no laws on it in the state. Thirty other states have distracted driving laws. To get a handle on why Florida has such a shocking record of distracted driving accidents, take a look at the statistics below:
- One in five adults texts while driving
- A driver who is texting is 6 times more likely to cause as an accident than a drunk driver.
- Texting takes eyes off the road for 5 seconds which is enough time to travel a football fields length if going 55 miles per hour
- There were 2,218 accidents caused by distracted drivers during the first 10 months of 2011.
Florida is a warm state and a heavily populated one. It has its fair share of bad drivers. There are those who speed unnecessarily on surface streets, those that knowingly speed in posted school zones, those who do not use turn signals, and those who talk, text or check email on cell phones while driving. Every driver has to be hyper aware of not only what is happening directly in front of them, but also ahead on the road. One cannot do this if their eyes are on a cell phone for one reason or another. A hands-free device is useful when a call must be made or taken. But it does not do one thing for someone who is texting or worse, checking email.
Montana and South Dakota
Montana does have some distracted driving laws involving the use of hand held devices within reach, for works for March 2013. It does not have a law regarding texting while driving. Granted, it is a state which is large and spread out and not nearly as traffic congested as Florida. But all states need to implement a total ban on texting while driving, Nothing is gained when state lawmakers do not step up to protect the people who elected them into office.
In 2011, there were 883 driving accidents of which 134 were caused by cell phone used while driving. There are no texting while driving bans in the state. Kudos go to the city of Huron which passed an ordinance against any type of distracted driving while the vehicle is in motion. Kids with a learners permit are not allowed to use a mobile device at all.
What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves on the Road?
Every driver in every state, and especially those who drive school busses and trucks, must be responsible on the road. Distracted driving of any kind causes accidents, seriously injuries to another person or people and ruins lives, including the driver’s. Health Briefs TV believes we all have to make a decision about is more important: replying to a text or staying out of jail, the morgue or the hospital.
Secondly, citizens in states where there are no laws on distracted drivers of any kind should locate the names of the lawmakers who voted against the laws and in particular those which were for banning hand held devices and texting, to find out why they voted against it. Let them know that your right to live is more important than someone else’s right to call, text or check email.