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Putting an End to Distracted Driving

            Distracted driving is the leading cause of death in car crashes in the United States. Distracted driving is an umbrella covering texting and driving, as well as using GPS, computers, the radio, reading and writing texts or emails, and even simply reaching for any of the above. Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reported 30,800 fatal crashes in the year 2012 [Fat12]. They reported that approximately 50% were caused by drivers that were distracted while driving [Nat15]. They say approximately because it is nearly impossible to gather 100% of the evidence needed to collectively agree that distracted driving was the cause or played a huge factor in the fatality. Issues such as drivers dying or being seriously injured and unable to testify if they were using a phone or not, and legally obtaining phone records is also difficult and cannot prove without a doubt that the driver was paying attention to his phone prior to the crash. There is also the portion of people who will not admit or are scared to admit to using their phones due to the fact that it puts them at fault. .
             According to the Nation Safety Council, in 2011 Florida was ranked 4th in number of fatal car crashes caused by distracted driving [Nat15]. In response to this growing challenge to keep our roads safe, as of Oct. 1, 2013, Florida put into law (Senate Bill 52/ Florida Statutes Section 1, Section 316.305) that while driving you cannot text, or type on your phone or computer; keywords being: while driving. If you are stopped at a red light or stop sign, you may text away. This will be considered a secondary offense which means that an officer must observe you breaking another law in order to pull you over. The first ticket will be a measly $60.00, but a possible 3 points on your license. But this hasn't been the first time a law like this was made.

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