Distracted driving can cause serious accidents and injuries to victims, including fatalities. Personal injury protections are available to help victims with their damages but it is useful to understand what is considered distracted driving and what the rules are in Pennsylvania concerning this dangerous activity.
In Pennsylvania, drivers are prohibited from using an interactive wireless communication device to send, read or write any text-based communication while their vehicle is in motion. It is considered a primary offense which means that drivers can be pulled over and cited by police for violating it. Distracted drivers can face fines if they violate Pennsylvania’s distracted driving laws. In addition, distracted drivers can also face civil liability if they cause a distracted driving-related car accident that injures victims.
Distracted driving includes many behaviors drivers engage in but likely should not such as eating and drinking while driving; adjusting a radio or navigation device while driving; reading or writing while driving; grooming while driving; interacting with passengers while driving; or using their cell phone while driving. Texting while driving can be especially dangerous because it is visually, manually and cognitively distracting to the driver. Distracted driving can be considered negligence and distracted drivers may be liable for the harm they cause.
A personal injury claim for damages can help victims of distracted driving-related accidents recover damages for their physical, financial and emotional damages including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages. Because distracted driving has consequences, it is important for victims injured by distracted drivers to be familiar with the legal resources available to help them when they have been harmed.