Despite all the texting bans and numerous awareness campaigns warning against distracted driving, many people still use their cellphones while operating a vehicle.
Some text and drive, while others talk on the phone while driving. And there are also those who record videos and live-stream while driving. But does live-streaming while driving count as distracted driving in Florida?
The dangers of recording videos and live-streaming while driving
With the rapid rise of TikTok and other video-sharing and broadcasting apps, an increasing number of people are live-streaming while driving. Broadcasting yourself live has become so easy that people can do it while driving.
However, live-streaming or recording videos for TikTok while operating a vehicle can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it takes motorists about five seconds, on average, to send or read a text message. If your car is traveling 55 mph, you can travel the length of a football field in five seconds.
Recording a video or live-streaming while driving may require you to take your eyes off the road for even longer. A 2017 study showed that making videos while driving involves three types of distractions:
- Manual (taking the hands off the wheel)
- Visual (taking the eyes off the road)
- Cognitive (taking the mind off the task)
When live-streaming while operating a vehicle, the driver’s attention shifts to posing, recording, and finding the right words to say in front of the camera.
Live-streaming or recording yourself while driving may get you new followers and likes, but it could also endanger you and other people on the road. When driving, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your eyes on the road, and keep your mind on the driving task.
Does recording videos or live-streaming while driving count as distracted driving?
Under Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, it is illegal to use a wireless communications device to manually type or enter letters, numbers, and other characters while driving a motor vehicle.
While Florida’s distracted driving law does not explicitly prohibit recording videos and live-streaming while operating a vehicle, it does not mean that doing so is safe. After all, you could end up causing a car accident and could be held liable for the resulting damages and losses.
Most other states have addressed the use of hands-free devices by motorists. Florida, however, has not banned handheld devices as of December 2020. Florida drivers are still allowed to talk on the cellphone while operating a vehicle.
However, Section 316.306, Florida Statutes, prohibits the use of handheld devices when driving in certain designated areas, including work zones, school crossing, and school zones.
Thus, while Florida law does not make it illegal to record videos or live-stream while driving, doing so can be just as distracted as manually typing, sending, or reading a text message. Live-streaming and recording videos is among a number of other distractions that are not banned under Florida’s distracted driving law, such as eating and using a GPS system.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was live-streaming or recording videos, do not hesitate to speak with our Lakeland distracted driving attorney at The Turnbull Firm to help you prove that the at-fault driver was distracted. Let our lawyer help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call at 863-324-3500 for a free consultation.