Florida Driving Laws Lag Behind National Safety Efforts

The State of Florida has some of the most relaxed driving laws in the nation and lawmakers aren’t doing much to make the roads safer, despite a lengthy list of incentives. Federal officials have offered generous amounts of grant money to states willing to adopt tougher laws. Florida has shown little interest.

According to Edmunds.com, experts have recommended 15 basic road laws to help improve the safety of roadways across the country. Recently, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety looked at how states measure up when it comes to adopting them. Florida didn’t do so well — In fact, we ranked among the worst.

Our Naples car accident lawyers understand that the number of car accidents is on the rise. According to information from the first nine months of 2012, the number of car accident fatalities increased by more than 7 percent compared to the same time in 2011.

“The annual costs to society from motor vehicle crashes remain at more than $230 billion. There is no better time for states to act than now,” said Jacqueline Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Important Road Laws Needed for the State of Florida:

-Currently, only riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a motorcycle helmet.

-Booster seats should be required for all motor-vehicle occupants under the age of 7.

-Drivers should not be able to get their learner’s permit until the age of 16. Currently, 15-year-old drivers are eligible for this license.

-Young drivers should have passenger limits. It has been proven that passengers serve as distractions for a driver and significantly increase the risks for an accident. Currently, a young driver can drive with as many passengers as the car will allow.

-Young drivers should have tougher curfews. Currently, 16-year-old drivers are prohibited from driving from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. while 17-year-old drivers are only prohibited from driving between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

-All drivers, but your drivers especially, should be banned from using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel. Drivers should also be stopped from text messaging behind the wheel. These behaviors significantly increase your risks for an accident and kill thousands each year.

-First-time drunk driving offenders should be required to use an Ignition Interlock Device. All DUIs should have this device to help to stop any future offenses, which have been proven likely in previous studies.

Since the state of Florida doesn’t put forth the strictest driving laws, we’re calling on drivers to do the right thing and to practice their safest driving habits. Your behavior behind the wheel can directly help prevent an accident. You shouldn’t need a law to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.