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Nicoletti Walker Law Group July 21, 2014

A four-car collision in Manatee County, Florida, was caused by a driver who had some trouble keeping his eyes on the road. The driver of the Ford F-350 truck that sparked the crash said he was glancing away as he was putting his phone down and failed to brake in time before he hit a vehicle in front of him. The second car crashed into a third car, which subsequently crashed into a fourth car. One of the drivers of the cars hit by the distracted driver sustained minor injuries and was sent to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment. The distracted driver was cited for careless driving and could be required to compensate the victims for his negligent actions.

Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law

According to the Florida law that bans texting while driving, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle while typing on a wireless communication device. This includes a ban on using your phone for texting, e-mailing, or instant messaging while operating a motor vehicle. There are several exceptions in the law for circumstances where you are permitted to use your phone while you are driving your car. The law states that you are allowed to text on your cell phone as long as your motor vehicle is stationary, and thus you will not be violating Florida law if you text while in a parked car or if you are stopped at a light. You are also allowed to use your phone if you are using it as a GPS for navigational purposes.

Tips for Safely Using a Cell Phone in Your Car

There are several things you can do with your cell phone to reduce the chance of causing an injury due to distracted driving. If possible, use your cell phone as a hands-free device. By either mounting your cell phone on your dashboard or using the speakerphone function on your phone, you can cut down some of the risks of using a cell phone in your car. You should also make sure that your phone is nearby and within easy reach so you can grab it without taking your eyes off of the road. If you are on the phone and you encounter a hazardous road condition, pause the conversation so you can give the road your full attention. Some conditions that you should look out for include rain, sleet, snow, ice, and heavy traffic. You should also try to avoid stressful or emotional conversations that could be distracting; make sure people you talk to know that you are driving and postpone conversations that have the potential to divert your attention from the road.

If you have been injured in a car accident, especially an accident that has been caused by a distracted driver, the experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Mike Walker Law can help you seek compensation for the damages that you are legally entitled to receive.