The South Florida Sun Sentinel recently had an article dealing with texting while driving and the dangers associated with it. We at the South Florida Personal Injury Law Firm of Berman & Tsombanakis have called for a law banning texting while driving and have posted numerous articles and blogs posts on this very important issue.
In the Sun Sentinel article, the author, Daniel Vasquez participated in a study with 170 students from Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida. The study took place in the safety of a driving simulator on a virtual screen using special glasses and head-ware. The purpose of the study was to determine what happens while drivers attempt to text and drive simultaneously. A similar study took place in other Florida High Schools in Wellington and Orlando recently.
None of the participating students passed the test. Most drove off the roadway and crashed or even ran over pedestrians. Some of the participating students said that the anti-texting and driving message has been drilled in their heads at school and on TV but the message is often lost on their parents.
One student stated that he could not type a word before running off the road in the simulator. One would think that a younger driver, practically born with mobile devices in hand would fare far better.
Mr. Vasquez also discusses a new app created by AT&T that automatically sends an auto reply message when you receive a text while your are driving. This sounds like a worthwhile download.
This past weekend, I was flipping through the TV channels at home and came across and old episode of The Brady Bunch. Readers in their 30’s and 40’s will definitely remember the episode where Greg and Marsha are learning to drive and have a competition as to who was the better driver. As part of the competition they created a slalom course and drove around cones. They also placed an egg on the top of a cone and whoever got closer to the cone without knocking over the egg was the winner. Imaging trying to complete these basis driving tasks while texting at the same time. Those cones and the eggs wouldn’t stand a chance.
As indicated in previous blog posts on this very subject, Florida remains one of only a few states on a constantly shrinking list without texting while driving bans. Recently, Alabama became the 38th state prohibit texting while driving. In each of the past 3 Florida legislative sessions, an anti-texting while driving bill has been introduced in the senate or house. Each year it has failed to gather the necessary votes to pass or even get out of committee. Perhaps next year is when our legislatures will finally get serious about this issue and pass a law that will help and protect all citizens and visitors to Florida while not hurting anyone (at least no one that this writer can think of)
As Senator Nancy Detert, R-Venice, joked “I am not trying to take away your cell phone, I am saying you can’t drive onto my lane while texting.”