Texting while driving has become a serious epidemic across the United States. Every year, approximately 4,600 deaths and 390,000 injuries are caused by a driver who is distracted by their phone. Floridians discovered in 2017 that the Sunshine State has the nation’s second highest number of distracted driving accidents. As a result, it became illegal to text and drive on July 1, 2019. As of January 1, 2020, fines will be imposed for anyone caught committing this offense.
What’s the Penalty for Texting While Driving in Florida?
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll soon have to deal with legal ramifications if you get caught texting when you’re driving. In most parts of the state, a first offense will lead to a $30 fine. A second offense comes with a $60 fine and three points on your license. However, the addition of court fees in Brevard County brings the total up to $119 for a first offense and $169 if you get caught again.
Why is Texting While Driving So Dangerous?
There are three types of distracted driving: visual, cognitive, and manual. Texting is one of the few distractions that fits into all three categories. Therefore, some believe that texting is actually the most dangerous thing you can do when you’re behind the wheel. In fact, studies show that drivers who engage in texting behaviors when they’re driving look away from the road 400 percent more frequently than those who aren’t texting.
The Hidden Costs of Texting
If you get into an accident due to texting while driving, you can expect to pay for much more than just Florida’s $30 fine. According to industry experts, getting into a crash that requires you to make an insurance claim may raise your rates as much as 35 percent. You may also be sued for medical expenses or even wrongful death if you injure or kill someone in the accident.