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Accidents Caused by Texting Drivers

It seems that for most Pennsylvanians, a day doesn’t go by without their cell phones being within close, convenient reach. Unfortunately, for far too many motorists, this includes while being behind the wheel. Currently, there is no state-wide cell phone ban in Pennsylvania for hand-held devices, texting, or in regards to young drivers or bus drivers using cell phones while operating a vehicle. This is quite shocking considering that accidents caused by texting drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States has become an epidemic.

However, some cities, including Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre, have banned hand-held cell phone use. As several 2011 distracted driving House Bills outline specific restrictions against cell phone use for drivers, some safety advocates are wondering why it has taken Pennsylvania so long to step-up against distracted driving, specifically texting drivers.

Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlights the significant dangers of distracted driving and motorist cell phone use. In 2009, it was reported that 5,474 individuals were killed in the United States and an additional 448,000 suffered injuries in motor vehicle collisions that were noted to have involved distracted driving. Of those individuals who were killed in distracted driving-related accidents, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as the source of distraction. Of those individuals who were injured in distracted driving-related accidents, 24,000 involved reports of cell phone use as the distraction.

During a Teen Driver Safety Week in Harrisburg last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) noted that from 2005 to 2009, 121,845 accidents involved at least one 16- to 19-year-old driver in Pennsylvania resulting in 1,011 fatalities. Fifty-two percent of these crashes resulted from the teen driver driving too fast for conditions, being inexperienced, driving distracted, and improper/careless turning.

Time and again, Philadelphia cell phone accident attorneys have seen the devastating effects that crashes caused by texting drivers impose on unsuspecting families. Texting crashes in Pennsylvania are preventable. Every driver is responsible for devoting their primary focus at all times to the road and their surroundings. Because a motorist has to make intricate evaluations, complex maneuvers, and quick decisions in order to operate a vehicle safely, texting and driving substantially limits these abilities. The more motorists devote their full attention to safety while driving instead of what so-and-so is doing via text or a quick call, the lower the chances are of motor vehicle accidents catastrophically altering people’s lives forever because of a cell phone.

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