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Distracted Driving Does Not Have to Involve a Smartphone


Over the past few years, the popularity of smartphones has increased dramatically. While they were once used by professionals for productivity purposes, it is now not uncommon to see teenagers with smartphones that are capable of browsing the internet, texting, playing games, and sending and receiving email.

As with many things in life, smartphones have had a downside as well. Much has been made about the dangers associated with using a smartphone while driving, as accomplishing tasks on one can require significant attention. Furthermore, these devices can even distract us when we are trying to avoid them, as the ding of a new notification can be irresistibly tempting for drivers, even while they are traveling at highway speeds.

As a result, many new laws that are trying to curb distracted driving focus on limiting how drivers can use their phones. State laws differ on the issue, with some jurisdiction banning handled use entirely and others banning visually-demanding activities like texting. For example, Florida Law bans texting and driving in Florida State Statute 316.305, which reads in pertinent part:

“A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”

With all the attention on smartphone use, it is easy to forget that distracted driving has been around since the first cars took to the roads decades ago. Some of the more low-tech distractions that still plague drivers to this day include the following:

  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Looking at scenery
  • Talking to passengers
  • Applying makeup
  • Drinking
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Looking at maps
  • Searching the vehicle for items

Victims of Distracted Driving Can Often Recover Compensation

While people distracted by things other than smartphones may not be breaking any laws, they still may liable for accidents they cause. This is because distracted driving will almost always be deemed negligent, which is the legal standard by which fault is determined. There are many ways that a distracted driver may break other traffic laws – for example, speed, run stop signs, ignore stop lights, and ignore crosswalks. In most cases, when distracted drivers cause accidents, victims can recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and other losses.

Call a Gainesville Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should speak to an attorney immediately, as you may be entitled to significant compensation. For a free case evaluation, call Meldon Law today at 800-373-8000 or send us an email through our online contact form.

  1. Distraction Gov
  2. 2013 Florida Statutes – 316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition
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