Getting behind the wheel unfortunately comes with multiple hazards even for careful drivers. Drivers who are speeding, driving in adverse weather conditions, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol are all hazards for others who take to the road. Particularly with the prevalence of handheld electronic devices, distracted driving is yet another roadside risk to add to the list.
Distracted driving is a catch-all term that includes several common activities that should not be done while operating a vehicle. Using a handheld or speaker phone, texting, inputting or viewing a GPS navigation system, eating or drinking behind the wheel, or talking with passengers are all common distractions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 3,450 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2016 due to distracted driving. Any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road even for a few seconds is a distraction and significantly increases the risk of a car accident.
Of the common driver distractions texting has among the most serious possible consequences. The NHTSA estimates that sending or reading one text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for up to five seconds, which they compare to driving the length of a football field with eyes shut at 55 mph. Many drivers might think “it’s just a quick text” but the time the driver is not focused on the road puts in perspective how dangerous text messaging can be. In five seconds or less a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian can occur with devastating consequences. Some studies equate the accident rate from distracted driving with driving under the influence of alcohol – pointing out how serious a problem this in on U.S. roads.
Laws Against Texting and Driving
Forty-seven states ban texting and driving and many states ban handheld phone usage while driving. The majority of states have also enacted total prohibitions on cell phone usage – including with speakers or headphones – for new drivers under the age of 18. Most of the states with cell phone prohibitions allow for primary enforcement, meaning that the driver can be stopped without any other reason and cited.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also well known to be a danger and one with significant financial consequences for the driver. Even without being involved in a DUI accident the results of a DUI charge will mean significant fines, suspension or revocation of driving privileges depending on each case, and being placed in a high-risk and high-cost car insurance category.
Distracted driving can result in traffic citations and fines which most drivers well know will hit the wallet in their next auto insurance policy renewal. Distracted driving puts you as the driver and your passengers at risk as well as other drivers sharing the road. Driving a motor vehicle carries with it responsibilities and being safe and considerate is a primary one. If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced Bucks County car accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Distracted Driving Accident Victims Recover Compensation
Freedman & Lorry, P.C. is an experienced Philadelphia law firm that can represent you with care and skill in your personal injury accident case. We represent clients in Philadelphia, Bucks County, and across Pennsylvania. For a free legal consultation please contact us online form or call us at 888-999-1962 to schedule an appointment with a Bucks County car accident lawyer in our Philadelphia office. We also have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Pinehurst, North Carolina to assist clients in the surrounding areas.