Unfortunately, it is a common practice for many Pennsylvania drivers to text while operating a motor vehicle. Texting slows your brake reaction significantly. Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous activity. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis study determined that it causes 330,000 injuries per year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts estimates that 11 teen deaths are caused every day due to this unfortunate activity.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash. Essentially, texting while driving is the same as driving blind for nearly 5 seconds at a time.
The University of Washington conducted a study where the researchers monitored 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections. The researchers studied, specifically, pedestrians who regularly text while crossing intersections. The University of Washington determined that texting pedestrians are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle due to this distraction.
Pennsylvania’s law prohibits utilizing interactive or wireless communication devices to send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion. This includes a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smartphone, portable or mobile computer or similar device. There is a $50 fine for convictions. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2010, there were 13,846 crashes in Pennsylvania where distracted driving played a role. Over 1,093 crashes statewide were where at least one driver used a handheld phone with 11 people dying in these crashes.
While utilizing a cell phone and texting while driving may be a convenience, it is extremely dangerous. All drivers have the right to be protected and safe from distracted drivers. If you, a friend or family member have been injured or a victim of another driver who was distracted through texting or cell phone messages, contact Attorney Rolf Patberg at 412-232-3500 or 1-800-471-6880 or E-Mail Attorney Patberg at Rpatberg@patberglawfirm.com. Please do not text and drive!