• Don’t be tempted; turn off your cell phone and/or mute it so that texts are stored until you have arrived at your destination. If you cannot control the urge to text, put your cell phone in an unreachable location such as the trunk.
• Install BlueTooth in your car or a hands-free phone so that you can keep both of your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road while driving.
• If you have to text while driving, pull off the road safely and stop the vehicle.
• Let others know that you are attempting to lower the amount of texting you are doing. Ask them to call and/or email you rather than text. Reiterate this for certain times of the day – when you know you will be on the roads.
• Make “no texting while driving” a rule for you, your business and your family. Spread the news that texting is not allowed while driving (and make it mandatory for those around you). Be sure to set a good example by following your rule!
“As personal injury lawyers in South Florida, our firm sees and hears about a tremendous amount of avoidable car accidents,” said Greg Coleman, managing partner at the Law Firm of Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman as well as Florida Bar Board of Governors member. “Let’s not forget that texting is a great tool to quickly communicate with family, friends and colleagues. However, it can also be deadly when done while driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving; 20 percent of injury crashes involved report of distracted driving. Further, it is estimated that at least 30 percent of the 2,430 Florida traffic accidents that occurred in 2009 were the result of a driver using a cell phone or texting while driving. And, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey from the NHTSA, drivers in southern states like Florida are much more likely to text behind the wheel than drivers in the rest of the country.
In Florida, there are currently no restrictions on cell phone use while driving. In fact, Florida is one of the few states where texting while driving is not illegal. However, in late February, Florida's Budget Committee unanimously approved Bill 416, which makes texting-while-
Debates are occurring all over the country regarding texting and driving legislation. Last year, California released its first study of driving behavior since it became one of the first states to ban texting and driving in July of 2008. The study found a whopping 47% decrease in handheld cell phone deaths since the law went into effect.
Research shows that the risk of an accident while text messaging and driving is at least double that of talking on a cell phone. In 2009, a study was conducted to determine the effects of using a cell phone on the driving performance of teen drivers. Twenty inexperienced drivers used a cell phone to retrieve and send text messages while driving a simulator. The researchers found that drivers who are text messaging spent 400% less time looking at the road. That means their eyes were off the road four times more than drivers who were not using a cell phone. In addition, drivers that were text messaging showed more variability in lane position, were more likely to miss lane changes, and took more time to respond to brake lights.
Visit the Government’s National Distracted Driver Awareness Month site at: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/
More Distracted Driving Facts and Numbers are Available at: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/
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About Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman.
BCLC is a West Palm Beach Litigation Law Firm focusing on Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Auto Accidents, Insurance Bad Faith, Marital & Family Law, Sexual Battery & Assault, RICO, Employment Litigation and Legal Malpractice throughout the state of Florida within Palm Beach, Broward, Dade and Martin Counties including West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, and the Treasure Coast. The lawyers at Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman, prides themselves on being trusted advocates to their clients and accomplishes this by building relationships with clients, educating them and representing them with their best interests in mind.
For more information on BCLC Law and/or to contact a lawyer, please visit http://www.bclclaw.com/