Distracted driving continues to be a growing problem for Pennsylvania law enforcement according to new data from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. Since 2013, citations for distracted driving have increased 172 percent. In 2017 alone, citations were up by 52 percent.
Distracted driving is a broad category that includes any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the act of driving. This includes eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup, taking care of small children, and cell phone use. Pennsylvania law prohibits drivers from texting while driving. This means if the car is moving, a driver may not send, read, or write a text-based message or email. Wearing headphones and earphones while driving is also prohibited.
Worst Pennsylvania Counties for Distracted Driving
Pennsylvania has 67 counties and Montgomery County ranked number one in the number of citations that were given out from 2013-2017. During that four-year period, the total number of distracted driving citations was 1,695 of which 620 were given out last year. This represents a 64 percent increase from the year before (2016) and an overall increase of 254 percent since 2013.
Other areas that made the top ten were Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Berks County. Over the same four-year period, Chester County gave out 963 citations making it the fourth highest county in the state. Bucks County had 859 distracted driving citations and Delaware County and Berks County each had 659 and 589 respectively.
Collaborative Effort Against Distracted Driving
In 2015, Montgomery County mounted a collaborative effort to address traffic safety issues. Called the Montgomery County Safe Driving Task Force, it aims to reduce car accident injuries and fatalities and comprises agencies such as municipal and state police departments, PennDOT, AAA, DUI Administration, County Courts, the Health Department, and the District Attorney’s office.
Local law enforcement attributes some of the increase in distracted driving car accidents to an increase in the population of Montgomery County. Specifically, they have seen more accidents at intersections at slow speeds. The Limerick Township police chief surmises that due to an increase in traffic, drivers spend much more time waiting at lights where they are tempted to pick up their phones. He advises people to wait until they have arrived at their destination to do so.
Preventing Distracted Driving with Technology
Despite the fact that cellphones are part of the problem of distracted driving, they can also help prevent it through the use of phone apps such as SafeCell. These apps can intercept calls and texts letting the sender know that the recipient is driving and cannot respond. Others like DriveSafe.ly can read texts and emails aloud in real time for the driver.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Injured Victims of Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to a skilled Media car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. who will review your case for free and advise you of your legal options. Call 610-565-3701 today or contact us online. Eckell Sparks has convenient office locations in Media and West Chester serving clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and throughout the greater Philadelphia area.