Pennsylvania drivers are still texting while behind the wheel

Recently released figures show that texting while driving citations are up in Pennsylvania, including in the Lehigh Valley.

Statistics show texting-and-driving citations are up across the state

Recently released court records show that citations for texting while driving continue to rise both in the Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania, according to the Allentown Morning Call. Since Pennsylvania put a texting-and-driving law into place in 2012, citations for the practice have risen steadily. Recent polls suggest the problem is especially bad among young drivers, more than half of whom admit to texting while behind the wheel of a car. Safety experts note that distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents and contributes to thousands of fatalities and injuries across the United States each year.

Citations rising

Across Pennsylvania police handed out 1,410 texting-and-driving citations in 2014, compared to 1,340 in 2013, and 1,190 in 2012. While Montgomery County had by far the most number of citations with 577, Lehigh and Northampton Counties also had some of the highest rate of texting citations in the state with 153 and 105 respectively. The current punishment for a texting while driving conviction is $50 in Pennsylvania.

As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, the problem seems to be particularly pronounced among young drivers. While a recent poll by Erie Insurance found that 30 percent of drivers admit to texting-and-driving, that figure rises to 51 percent among drivers aged 18 to 34.

Car accident risk

The dangers of texting while driving are also not insignificant for young drivers. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that six out of ten moderate to severe accidents involving a teenage driver are connected to distracted driving, with texting or talking on a cellphone being the most common forms of distracted driving.

Safety experts also point out that while it may only take a few seconds to read a text message, at high speeds a few seconds is more than enough time for an accident to happen. For example, a driver going 55 mph who reads a text message for six seconds will have driven the equivalent length of a football field without paying attention to the road. The problem has become so bad that federal authorities say distracted driving now kills over 3,000 people a year and injures 424,000.

Involved in an accident?

Negligent drivers, such as distracted drivers, are a menace on Pennsylvania’s roads and highways. As the above article shows, accidents are all too often caused by drivers who are not paying sufficient attention to the road. Anybody who has been involved in an accident that may have been caused by a negligent driver should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. The right attorney, with years of legal experience and expertise, can assist injured accident victims and help guide them through what is otherwise an often difficult and confusing situation.

Keywords: Pennsylvania, distracted driving, texting