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Do Texting and Handheld Phone Bans Help Prevent Florida Truck Accidents?

Many states – including Nevada, recently – have bans prohibiting hand held cell phone use or texting while driving. No state has a blanket ban on mobile devices, so even the stricter states allow the use of hands-free mobile devices. In many cases, these devices have features which allow users to dial numbers and even send and receive text messages without taking their eyes off the road. The idea behind these devices is that they are safer because they do not require drivers to look down to check messages or dial a number, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road. Currently, Florida has no bans on cell phone use or texting while driving, even though a number of attempts have been made to pass this type of legislation.

While a number of experts and residents believe that Florida should follow the lead of other states and pass cell phone bans and texting bans for drivers, new studies by the Governors Highway Safety Association cast doubt on the idea that such bans could help reduce Florida car accidents and truck accidents. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, cell phone bans do not necessarily reduce the number of traffic collisions. While numerous studies – including the Governors Highway Safety Association research – show that distracted drivers are more at risk of accidents than non-distracted drivers, the new study does not show a clear correlation between the use of hands-free devices and lower car accident and truck accident rates.

The Governors Highway Safety Association research examines nine states that have instituted a cell phone ban. Researchers found that drivers are distracted by many things – up to half of their driving time. However, researchers in the study also found that drivers adapt to the use of the phone and pay more attention to the road. Another study, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also found that states with hands-free and no texting legislation actually experienced an increase in the number of traffic crashes after their new legislation. According to experts, part of the problem is that after texting and cell phone bans, many drivers continue to take part in the risky behavior – but place their mobile devices in their lap so that they will not be caught and ticketed. With mobile devices in their laps, drivers spend more time with their eyes off the road – and are therefore more likely to cause a truck or car accident.

Currently, commercial truckers in Florida and across the US are prohibited from texting while driving. As well, truck drivers must adhere to a number of rules about hours of service and rest stops. Nevertheless, truck drivers are still sometimes involved in fatal Florida truck accidents because of texting and driving or cell phone use while driving. As well, while commercial trucks are banned from texting and driving, in Florida passenger vehicles are not subject to these same restrictions and drivers of these cars can and do cause serious traffic collisions.


If you have been in a Florida truck accident or car accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group offices in Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood. We can set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. As well, by calling, you can always reach someone on the phone at the Flaxman Law Group for instant support. With decades of experience and three Southern Florida offices to serve you, the Flaxman Law Group is ready to assist you with a free consultation.