As we recently reported on our South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, Florida lawmakers are debating yet another bill that would make texting while driving illegal in Florida. Florida is one of the few states that has yet to enact a law to regulate this dangerous habit among drivers.
Well, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is swooping in with its “OMG” public service announcement (PSA) campaign to stop teen drivers who text at the wheel. Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to get into a distraction-related car accident in Boca Raton. For this reason, the two PSAs that the USDOT has created aims to educate these young, inexperienced drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.
Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand that these two PSAs will be airing at more than 525 Regal Cinema theaters on more than 5,500 movie screens, on gas station pump-top screens and on the Distraction.gov website throughout December. As the approach the holidays, our Florida roadways are expected to overflow with vacationers and resident drivers heading to holiday gatherings. The increase in traffic greatly increases our young drivers’ risks of a car accident. Parents are urged to talk with teen drivers about the risks they’ll inevitable face during this time of the year.
In these PSAs, USDOT officials added in some popular texting lingo, like “L8R” and “LOL,” to effectively spread the message to teenage drivers across the country. USDOT officials also thought that by using the gas station pump-top screens, movie theaters and online as the medium for the PSAs that these messages would effectively reach these young drivers. Nathan Gill, of Outcast’s PumpTop TV, says that he hopes these short PSAs will reach our young, on-the-go drivers and potentially make a difference in the safety of everyone on our roadways through the holiday season and well beyond.
In 2010, there were nearly 3,100 people who were killed in the U.S. because of distraction-related traffic accidents. As technology grows more popular, the number of these accidents will continue to increase if nothing is done. We know that teenagers want to keep in touch with their friends through their winter break, but there’s no reason to do it while driving a motor vehicle. Remind teens that there’s a time and place for everything and behind the wheel is no time for texting.
Currently, there are 35 states that have enacted laws that make it illegal for a driver to talk on a cell phone. Another nine states have passed laws that make it illegal for drivers to talk on the cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.
While Florida has yet to enact any such law, parents are asked to step in and talk with the teen drivers in their lives about the dangers, risks and consequences that come from using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel.