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Texting While Driving — A Major Distraction

A sign that reads "don't text and drive" discourages texting while driving

A study by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicates that your collision risk is 23 times greater if you are texting while driving.  The researchers in that study equipped trucks with video cameras that showed the drivers looking at their phones for nearly five seconds per text ― at highway speeds, this amounts to driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.

The problem of texting while driving got the attention of U.S. government in the mid-2000s when they launched an official website dedicated to helping citizens understand the dangers of driving while distracted. States also enacted stricter laws designed to keep people’s attention on the road. But the problem of texting while driving persists.

Pennsylvania’s Distracted Driving Law

Pennsylvania’s law regarding texting while driving is a ban on texting for all drivers and is considered a primary offense. A police officer can pull you over solely for texting behind the wheel. The ban applies to all Interactive Wireless Communication Devices used to write, send, or read any text-based communication, which could be a wireless phone, smart phone, a digital assistant, a portable computer, or any device that can be used for texting, internet browsing, sending an email, or an instant message.

In the event of an accident, however, police don’t always note if someone was texting or not at the time of the crash. A thorough investigation by a vigilant lawyer, however, can reveal whether or not the driver of one of the vehicles was texting and driving.

Teens and Texting While Driving

Teenagers are already at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident simply because they have less experience behind the wheel. Nearly 40 percent of high school students reported texting or emailing while driving during the past month (2017).

It’s important that teenagers understand the risks involved and that parents and educators teach and model safety behaviors.

What to Do If You are Injured by a Driver Who Was Texting While Driving

If you or a member of your family has been involved in an accident involving texting while driving, contact an experienced attorney right away. Get in touch with a Lancaster County accident attorney to receive the highest quality representation in your personal injury case.

 

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