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CELL PHONE USE AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

cell-at-wheel-290x300CELL PHONE USE AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

In Miami, just like in most modern cities around the world, texting and driving, as well as using cell phones for social media purposes such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, Waze, etc., are leading to traffic accidents that involve bike riders, joggers, pedestrians and other motorists. Most of these cell phone related accidents usually lead to injuries, damages and losses to innocent individuals that fall victim to negligent drivers. Cell phone related accidents in Miami have risen dramatically over the past five years and are soon to take top spot when it comes to negligent or reckless driving, surpassing drunk driving as the leading cause of traffic accidents. In Miami and  throughout Florida,  motorist that uses their cell phone while driving to text, chat, or even use Waze, for example, are placing their well-being and the lives of others at risk of of falling victim to injuries, damages and losses. The Perazzo Law Firm knows that not all cell phone related accidents have drivers at fault for accidents, given that bike riders, joggers, and pedestrians also use their cell phones negligently while partaking in their activities while sharing avenues, streets and roadways with motorists. Many times, pedestrians cross avenues and streets while looking down at their phones without paying attention to motorists approaching, many of whom may also be distracted by negligent cell phone use. In Florida, a set of laws have been passed to help curve the growing trend of cell phone use behind the wheel. Texting and driving is now considered illegal and subject to fines and even jail time. When a traffic accident occurs and the motorist that caused the accident is found legally at fault for the accident due to negligent cell phone use, either through eyewitness testimony or through an insurance claim that leads to an investigation by insurance providers or attorneys, legal action will ensue and lead to economic implications that may have a short or long term effect on their lives. Following a cell phone related accident in Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm strongly suggests hiring a trusted attorney to handle an insurance claim for compensation on behalf of the victim.

TOP TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING

  1. The police can pull you over if you are spotted using your cell phone while driving or in motion.
  2. Warnings do not effect your driving record.
  3. Cell phone use in school zones is absolutely prohibited and subject to fines.
  4. Hands free devices and Bluetooth is allowed but earphones can only be used in one ear.
  5. GPS services can be used (verbally) by drivers though they must be activated before starting and after ending the trip. Distractions can lead to accidents.
  6. Using a cell phone device to record a situation while driving is against the law.
  7. The first offence is a $30 fine and no points off your license.
  8. The second offence (within 5 years) calls for a $60 fine and 3 points off your license for a moving violation.
  9. The driver found guilty of negligent cell phone use must pay court costs and fees.
  10. A police officer is not allowed to take your phone to prove you were using it but can refer to surveillance cameras. Keep in mind that police officers are trained to detect motorists that are using their cell phone while driving.

In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm advises motorists to refrain from doing the following:

  • Do not use your cell phone devices while driving and your vehicle is in motion.
  • Do not take calls or text and drive while your vehicle is in motion.
  • Do not block traffic to use your phone.
  • If you need to use GPS services, it is best enter addresses and locations prior to taking to an avenue, street, or highway.
  • Do not use your cell phone on highways or when driving at high speeds.
  • Do not use your cell phone in school zones or areas where road work is being carried out.
  • If pulled over, do not deny using your phone. A warning may be warranted if you comply and are honest.

cell-driving-292x300UBER ACCIDENTS AND CELL PHONE USE IN MIAMI-DADE

The Perazzo Law Firm understands that Uber and other ride share services, either for transportation of passengers as well as for the delivery of goods, rely on cell phone use to carry out services. The use of GPS via Waze or Google Maps is one of the main tools for Uber and ride share delivery services providers in order to reach their destinations more effectively. However, the use of GPS services many times leads drivers into areas that are not used to the flow of traffic and aggressive or negligent drivers. Traffic accidents in suburban areas such as Coral Gables, for example, have seen an increase in the number of cell phone related accidents involving pedestrians, joggers, bike riders and all those sharing quiet streets with Uber and ride share services vehicle operators. Bike and pedestrian paths are no longer as safe as they used to be as a result of negligent cell phone use, as motorcycle riders may use these paths to avoid traffic and drivers may inadvertently enter bike paths while overtaking other vehicles. There have been cases where motorists lose control of their vehicle and run over pedestrians or crash into bike riders and skaters. All this, when coupled with negligent cell phone use, makes walking, jogging, skating, and bike riding activities that require safety precautions at all times. Uber drivers may not always be subject to fault after an accident and may sometimes fall victim to the negligence of other drivers. Uber accidents in Miami for example, can result from negligent commercial truck drivers, bikers, and even pedestrians. An accident involving Uber, Lyft, or other ride share delivery services vehicles which involves proven cell phone use negligence while driving, can merit an insurance claim for compensation by the injured parties. It’s important to highlight that Uber carries an insurance policy which can cover up to $1 million to compensate for injuries, damages, or losses.

Best advice: Avoid using your phone while driving.

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