Consequences of Using Your Cell Phone While Driving in Pennsylvania
November 10, 2022 | Car Accidents
When you are sitting at a red light or suddenly hear a ping while driving, it can be tempting to answer your phone’s notifications. However, the potential consequences of using your cell phone while driving in Pennsylvania are substantial.
Distracted driving – such as looking at your phone – causes thousands of car accidents every year. We have prepared this information to inform the public about the dangers of using your cell phone while driving in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s Texting-While-Driving Law
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania law prohibits any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (cell phone) to send, read, or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion. In Pennsylvania, this is a primary offense, so a law enforcement officer can stop and issue a citation to any driver they see committing this offense.
Penalties for Using Your Cell Phone While Driving in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania imposes a $50 fine upon conviction of a violation of its distracted driving law, plus court costs and other fees. If the offender is a commercial driver, the offense is recorded as a non-sanction violation on the commercial driver’s record.
Distracted Driving Increases the Likelihood of Causing a Crash
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that 14,202 distracted driving crashes occurred in Pennsylvania in 2018. These accidents resulted in 65 fatalities and many more injuries. Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving resulted in the death of 3,142 people in 2020.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also states that numerous studies have found that texting drivers typically have their eyes off the roadway for longer than for any other distraction. This means that drivers who were texting or otherwise using their cell phones put other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users at increased risk of being hurt in a crash.
Additionally, when car accidents do occur, they are likely to result in more serious injuries because distracted drivers may not see impending hazards on the roadway. This means they have less time to stop or try to steer away from them, so the impact will likely occur at higher speeds.
Accidents that occur at higher speeds can result in serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
These injuries can result in significant pain and suffering and long recovery periods for accident victims. Those who cause such accidents will have to live with the guilt of knowing that they harmed someone else in an entirely preventable manner.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
Individuals who cause a crash because they were distracted may be held financially liable for the financial and non-economic losses they cause accident victims.
These losses may include:
- Costs to repair or replace their vehicle
- Current, past, and future medical expenses
- Long term disability
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish and distress
While the perpetrator can have the claim filed through their insurance claim, this will only cover damages up to the amount of the policy limits. If the distracted driver was underinsured, they may be sued and may face having their property seized, their wages garnished, and other actions taken against them to ensure the accident victim recovers their fair compensation.
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, contact a Harrisburg car accident lawyer for help with your claim.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
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833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
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354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
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2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
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937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
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