The Florida legislature missed a chance to keep our teens safer while driving. Both the House and the Senate had bills before them that prohibited teens from using electronic devices while driving and neither one of them passed during this latest session.
It must be that our legislature has better information than the National Transportation Safety Board. According to their Safety Recommendation H-3-08,
“Learning how to drive and becoming comfortable in traffic requires all the concentration a novice driver can muster. Research has shown that the cognitive effects of conducting a conversation on a wireless telephone can decrease situational awareness and that wireless telephone use can slow reaction time…. Research by NHTSA has shown that drivers who use a wireless telephone while driving can lose situational awareness and experience “inattention blindness,” suggesting that the cognitive effects, as well as the physical demands of handheld telephone use, are dangerous.”
Currently 17 states prohibit teens, or “novice” drivers, from using cell phones while they drive and Florida will not be added to this list. Unfortunately for us, our teens can continue to endanger our lives with the “inattention blindness” without any legal consequences.