How Bad Is the Distracted Driving Problem in Pennsylvania?

Picture of Girl driver talking on phone behind the wheel

When was the last time you saw a distracted driving PSA? They are constantly on television, radio stations and social media, but are Pennsylvanians paying attention to them? New statistics say that the drivers in our state are not heeding these warnings, and it’s creating a massive distracted driving problem.

Is the Distracted Driving Problem in Pennsylvania Getting Worse?

A man and his sister were out riding his motorcycle when a tractor-trailer struck the back of his bike. Though the sister escaped the crash with severe injuries, her brother—the man piloting the motorcycle—did not survive. An investigation by Pennsylvania State Police found evidence that the truck driver was watching a football game on his phone at the time of the accident. Allegedly he was even sending texts, one of which was to place a $50 bet on the game’s outcome.

Stories like this are just a few of the cautionary tales you hear about distracted driving, but few Pennsylvanian’s are learning from these tragedies. In 2017, 5,054 drivers were cited for driving while distracted. That’s a 52 percent increase over the number of citations issued in 2016. In 2013, only 1,858 citations were issued for distracted driving.

Why Are More People Driving While Distracted?

Many experts don’t have an answer for why the number of distracted driving citations is going up. Some blame the increase on smartphone usage, while others claim that a lack of understanding is amplifying the danger. Distracted drivers often tell police that they only looked away for a second, but this is no solace for a grieving family.

When it comes to distracted driving, warning drivers may not be enough. However, letting drivers know there are consequences for their actions may help. Here in Pennsylvania, the victims of distracted driving can file lawsuits against the parties who have harmed them. This includes the driver, and under certain circumstances, the person texting that driver. In the case of truckers driving while distracted, their employers can be liable for the damages caused by a crash.

This is why calling an attorney after a distracted driving incident is so important. Taking legal action is another way to help spread the word about the consequences of distracted driving. It can also help victims get the compensation they need when facing medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

This message was brought to you by the Northeastern Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices—helping the victims of car, bus and truck accidents find justice one case at a time.

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