Philadelphia, PA Car Accidents – Distracted Driving on the Rise in PA

Despite PA's law prohibiting drivers from texting and driving and engaging in other distractions, a recent report shows that distracted driving is on the rise in PA. Get the latest here.

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By a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

According to a report released by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts in April of this year, distracted driving citations are on the rise in Pennsylvania.  The distracted driving citations include drivers who text and drive and drivers who use headphones or earphones while the car is in motion. The report does not include distracted driving citations in Philadelphia County because that data is maintained by Philadelphia Municipal Court, Traffic Division.

In 2014, there were 1,998 distracted driving citations in Pennsylvania, and in 2015, there were 2,857 distracted driving citations.  That is an increase of 43% in one year.  The citations are mainly due to texting while driving. The report also indicated that more men (67%) were cited than women (31%).

Other findings include:

  • 40% of the citations offenders were in their 20s and 26% in their 30s.
  • May had the highest number of citations, followed by August and July.
  • Montgomery County had the most citations.

In March 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the law making texting while driving illegal throughout the entire state of PA. Drivers are prohibited from texting while driving which includes sending, reading or writing a text message or email.  The hope was to stop PA drivers from texting while driving.  Unfortunately, this recent report seems to indicate that drivers are simply ignoring the law.

Related: Let’s Put a Stop to Distracted Driving Auto Accidents in Philadelphia

Texting and Driving Causes Accidents

Texting and driving accidents in Philadelphia and other parts of PA often result in injuries to those involved.  Those injured have legal rights against the texting drivers who caused the accident.  However, injured individuals’ legal rights depend on whether they have limited tort or the severity of their injuries.

Related: What Does Limited Tort Have to Do with Your Philadelphia Car Accident?

Limited tort, as opposed to full tort, prevents an insured driver from suing an at-fault driver for pain and suffering damages unless a limited tort exception is met; one such exception is if the at-fault driver is driving an out of state vehicle.

For instance, a Philadelphia driver has limited tort and is injured in a rear-end accident caused by a texting driver who is driving a car registered in New Jersey; the Philadelphia driver will be able to sue the NJ driver for pain and suffering damages.

Another limited tort exception is if the injured driver suffers from a “serious injury” defined by PA case law.  Thus, if a limited tort driver suffers a “serious injury,” he will be deemed to have full tort and will be able to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering damages.

Help from a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

The car accident lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent are well versed in limited tort and have helped drivers/passengers who were injured in texting and driving accidents and other types of auto accidents.  If you were in a car accident in Philadelphia or other parts of PA, call our lawyers to schedule a FREE consultation.  (866) 641-0806

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