Florida Laws About Texting and Using a Cell Phone While Driving

texting_manToday’s technology allows people to be in contact with each other constantly, but when it comes to driving, this isn't necessarily a good thing. It’s not uncommon to see drivers chatting away on a headset, or even taking their eyes off the road to glance down at their cellphone screens. While these drivers are definitely diverting their attention from the road, are they actually breaking the law?

When Driver Cell Phone Use Is Illegal in Florida

Although phone conversations can be a distraction to drivers, it's not illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving in Florida. Although it's allowed, it's a good idea to keep these conversations short and to avoid stressful topics or discussing detailed plans. As a rule, cell phones should only be used for emergencies or important calls while driving.

Cell phone activities prohibited in Florida include:

  • Texting. Texting while driving is one of the biggest factors contributing to car accidents today. Florida law states that it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle while manually typing any characters into a wireless communications device, or to send a message using fingers and thumbs.
  • Reading emails. It's not only illegal to send emails and texts, it's also illegal to glance down at a screen to read them. Any nonverbal interpersonal communication is prohibited while driving, including reading data off of a device.
  • Social media. Hitting the “like” button on a Facebook post may only take a second, but it's considered wireless communication and is barred for drivers by law. Similarly, using Twitter, Instagram, online games, or another application is prohibited.

It's important to note that while these practices are illegal, they cannot be the primary cause of a traffic stop. Florida’s texting laws are secondary laws only. This means an officer must have another reason for pulling a driver over to issue a ticket. In accident cases, drivers who are texting may be ticketed for any primary infractions as well as receiving points on their licenses.

If you were struck by a distracted driver, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and loss of income. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation.