The Chairwoman of the National Transportation and Safety Board, Deborah Hersman, said in a meeting earlier this week that she believes distracted driving is becoming “the new DUI” and that distracted driving will soon reach epidemic proportions.

As a Winter Park accident attorney, I have been thinking about this issue for awhile.  Over the last few years of talking to clients after Florida car accidents it has become clear that distracted driving has become a serious problem — and I have blogged and produced videos about it.  Whether they are texting while driving, answering emails while driving, or even surfing the internet while driving, it is clear that many people operating cars do not have the act of driving as the foremost thing in their minds.

For seemingly political reasons, many states, including Florida, seem reluctant to pass laws against this kind of distracted driving activity.  Many political leaders believe that the laws that apply to careless driving are strong enough to discourage distracted driving.

My experience handling Florida personal injury cases makes me doubt this.  This is why I am joining with many of my personal injury lawyer colleagues and seeking punitive damages in many of my cases involving texting while driving or other distracted driving behaviors.  We do this routinely in cases involving drunk driving or driving under the influence.  It makes sense to me to treat people who are willfully creating a dangerous situation for others by texting, the same way as we do drinkers.

If you have any questions regarding your legal rights in a Florida car accident involving texting while driving or other distracted driving, give Winter Park attorney Kim Michael Cullen a call at 407-644-4444.  Or you can learn more by downloading your free copy of Kim’s book Asleep At the Wheel.

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