Last October, Florida became the 40th state to ban texting while driving. However, there are several exceptions under the new ban, including allowing drivers to use their phones while stopped at traffic lights, for emergencies, as well as to get weather alerts, look at traffic, and listen to the radio. The law also allows drivers to use GPS.
However, while use of cell phone GPS is legal, it can create a distraction to drivers and should be done with great care.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices. This number has held steady since 2010.
The number of drivers who are multi-tasking by using their phones while driving has become a national concern. Research has shown that drivers who engage in visual-manual tasks (such as reaching for the cell phone in the car, dialing it, or texting) while driving are three times more likely to get into a crash than drivers who are focused solely on driving. In Florida, this means that the state had 4,841 phone–related crashes in 2012.
Use Of Free-Standing GPS Or Cell Phone GPS While Driving
While Florida allows cell phone use while driving, drivers can still receive a traffic ticket for distracted driving if they break the rules of the road, such as by rolling through stop signs, improperly changing lanes, or driving in some other unsafe manner.
GPS and cell phone GPS use is covered under the state’s distracted driving laws. To avoid the dangers of distracted driving, the Florida Highway Patrol and Consumer Reports have the following tips for GPS and cell phone GPS use while driving:
Make safe driving your first priority – The act of driving is a driver’s first priority, so if using a GPS or cell phone’s GPS app is going to be distracting, the driver should wait until the vehicle is stopped before doing so.
Keep your eyes on the road – In order to keep their eyes on the road, drivers should program their GPS or GPS app before leaving home or pull over to the side of the road to enter the destination coordinates.
Mount your device properly – While Florida does not restrict windshield mounting of GPS devices, it is important for drivers to mount or set their GPS devices or cell phone GPS in a place where they can see the device while still focusing on the road. One option is a bean bag mount which simply sits on the dashboard and has a rubberized surface to hold the device in place.
Use common sense – Woad conditions, heavy traffic, and bad weather conditions can make it challenging for drivers to drive. Drivers should not do anything that can increase their risk of a crash.
Tallahassee Car Accident Attorney Help
In order to protect your rights and make sure that valuable evidence is preserved, it is important to contact an experienced Tallahassee car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car accident that possibly involves a distracted driver. At Fasig& Brooks, we offer free case evaluations to all prospective clients, so there is no reason to delay in seeking qualified and knowledgeable legal advice. Call us today at (850) 222-3232.