While distracted driving awareness month has come and gone, this does not mean that distracted driving is no longer an issue. It is still critical to reduce distracted driving year-round and not just during one month. Distracted driving leads to grave dangers, including serious car accidents.
Pennsylvania State Police issued 3,400 citations for distracted driving in 2021. In addition, they issued 2,000 warnings. These numbers indicate that driving while distracted is a significant issue across the state. Fines for distracted driving range from $50 to $175, depending on individual factors. When a person gets behind the wheel, they need to have their undivided attention on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 90% of car accidents are avoidable, especially ones caused by distracted driving. Victims of distracted driving need to call a York distracted driving accident attorney to obtain fair compensation for their damages.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is being on the phone, changing the radio, and even talking to passengers. Drivers are in total control of how they behave on the road. They make the conscious decision to grab a cell phone or eat food while they should be paying attention to the road. Passengers can also help prevent accidents by confronting drivers on their behavior. It is not only the driver who is in danger but also passengers and other individuals on the road. If you are a passenger, stand your ground and tell the driver to stop acting recklessly.
There is no excuse for driving distracted. Vehicle manufacturers have made efforts to implement technology into vehicles to allow you to use your phone hands-free. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are standard features in many newer cars. These features allow drivers to make calls and have texts read to them without grabbing their phones. Their eyes are always on the road. Yet, some drivers still choose to hold their phones when these features are readily available. If you are injured due to a distracted driver, you need a York car accident attorney to be your ally.
What are the causes of distracted driving?
There are three forms of distracted driving. A driver can be distracted by one or all three at a time. The categories, according to the NHTSA, are:
- Manual distractions: Any action that requires a driver to take their hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive distractions: Anything that takes the driver’s mind off the road.
- Visual distractions: Any action that takes their eyes off the road.
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Using a GPS
- Changing the radio
- Putting on makeup
- Reaching or turning to the backseat to calm down children
- Loud music
- Getting lost in a podcast
- Posting on social media
This is not a complete list, as there are many ways a driver can be distracted while driving.
Does Pennsylvania ban texting while driving?
To reduce distracted driving, Pennsylvania enacted the texting while driving ban. The law prohibits drivers from using Interactive Wireless Communication Devices (IWCD) to send communication while driving. Since this is a state law, local ordinances do not supersede it.
Smartwatches are also covered under this law as they are devices that can send and receive communication. Many drivers think smartwatches are a workaround, but they are not. Pennsylvania wants to limit the number of distractions drivers have on the road and lower the recent increase in fatalities.
There are times throughout the year when police will drive in unmarked cars looking for distracted drivers. The goal is to educate distracted drivers and reduce accidents that their negligent actions could cause.
While Pennsylvania does not have a ban on handheld devices, it is illegal in Pennsylvania to text and drive, and you should only do so when your vehicle is parked, as we mentioned. Many smartphone makers have implemented driving modes onto their phones. This feature does not allow notifications to come in, and the user cannot access the phone while the vehicle is on. However, it will ultimately rely on drivers to use these features and avoid using their devices.
How can a York injury attorney help with my distracted driving accident claim?
You will suffer a range of damages from a distracted driving car accident. Victims think they have no options and must take care of all expenses independently. When you have a legal ally on your side, the picture changes. A York car accident attorney will work to obtain compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Permanent impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Past medical expenses
- Estimated future medical expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
After a distracted driving car accident, the first step is to get a medical evaluation. You will have a clear picture of your medical treatment needs. A medical evaluation immediately following an accident will also directly correlate the accident and your injuries.
We understand that the aftermath of an accident is confusing. Still, you need to be sure you do not sign any legal documents or make a recorded statement to the insurance company. An experienced injury attorney can consult with you about your case and the possible outcomes.
Drivers should avoid all distractions and focus on the task at hand. As we mentioned, cell phones are not the only cause of distracted driving but are often the one that is cited the most for causing an accident. If a distracted driver has caused you damage from a car accident, contact the York distracted driving accident attorneys at KBG Injury Law. You will have two years from the accident to file a personal injury claim. To schedule a consultation today, call 717-848-3838, or submit our contact form. We maintain two offices in York, and additional offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg for your convenience.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.