It’s well-known that Miami drivers love their mobile devices. Florida is one of only a few states with no bans on texting or talking while driving and each year many Miami pedestrian accidents and car accident – as well as many traffic accidents across the state – are caused by distracted drivers using cell phones.
Even though the dangers of distracted driving are well documented, many drivers still choose to drive while texting or using their mobile devices. This is the case even in states with strict texting bans in place. A new study out of Canada could shed some light on why drivers take the risk. Recently, the province of British Columbia in Canada held a crackdown on drivers who use mobile devices and cell phones while driving. Authorities issued more than 3500 tickets as part of the crackdown. As part of the initiative, authorities also kept track of some of the excuses used by drivers who were caught driving while texting or talking on their cell phones:
1) “I do not agree with this law.” This is an interesting reason, because, of course, residents are obligated to follow all traffic laws – even ones they do not agree with.
2) “I had to use the phone – it was my employer/family/spouse.” This is another interesting reason for driving distracted. The reality is that no phone call is so urgent that it is worth risking a car accident over. If there is a truly important phone call to be made, motorists should pull over to the side of the road to make the call.
3) “I was not using the phone – just holding it.”
4) “I did not see you, office – I was on the phone.”
5) “Something happened to my Bluetooth and I cannot use it.” While hands-free devices at least allow motorists to focus on the road and not take their eyes off the road, some studies have suggested that hands-free devices still distract drivers and are still therefore a hazard on the roads. In addition, a technical problem with a hands-free device does not make it acceptable to use mobile devices while driving.
6) “I was stopped at a red light and was not driving and texting.” In areas where cell phones or texting are banned behind the wheel, the understanding is that drivers will not use their mobile devices at any time while operating a motor vehicle – and that includes stops at red lights. In fact, drivers need to be alert at stop signs and red lights in order to monitor the flow of traffic, so mobile devices in these situations are quite dangerous.
7) “I was just checking my battery/the time/to see if my cell phone was working.” Again, a cell phone ban implies that mobile devices will not be used in any manner while driving. Checking the time on a phone is just as distracting – and just as likely to lead to a Miami car accident – as texting. Experts and authorities agree that it is safest to turn a mobile device off and put it safely away before getting in the car, to avoid the temptation to check messages or the device itself.