With nearly 15 million licensed drivers on the roads in Florida, there are quite a few rules you should know before hopping in the car. Where should you begin? Let’s start simple.

Do I have to wear my seatbelt?

It is against Florida Law to operate a vehicle if all passengers do not meet the seatbelt requirements. All passengers in the front seat must wear a seat belt, and all passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt at all times. The cost for a seatbelt violation is $30, unless the violation is for a child that is not properly restrained- then the cost is $60.

Got it. My phone keeps buzzing though… can I answer it?

Florida law does not prohibit talking on a cell phone while driving, but texting and driving is expressly forbidden. While any action on a cell phone screen used to type, read or send a text message is illegal while driving, it is not grounds to be pulled over or arrested. You must be committing another road violation (like speeding or running a stop sign) in order to be pulled over for texting.

Makes sense. Worst case scenario: what if I‘m involved in an accident?

Florida is one of only a few “no-fault” states, and Florida Law requires every motorist to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This means that, if you’re involved an accident, your own insurance will cover medical bills for your injuries up to $10,000.

Whew! What about filing a claim?

The Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Florida prevents motorists from filing a claim more than 4 years after the date of the accident for an injury. A wrongful death case against the at-fault driver must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. So don’t wait!

Well, what advice do you have for me immediately after an accident?

After an accident, you should document everything that happened as soon as you can. This will make it easier for you when you file your claim, and help you receive all compensation to which you are entitled. When in doubt, write it down and call Cappy!