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Pennsylvania text ban does not protect against distracted drivers

Our state bans texting while driving. But, it fails to account for the many other kinds of distracted driving that can cause a car accident. This means that motorists cannot rely on law enforcement to keep distracted drivers off the road. Instead, they must drive defensively and if an accident does occur, seek a legal remedy.

The state’s texting ban is really no more than that: it is illegal to use an electronic device to write, read or send a text, instant message or email while operating a vehicle. But, it is not illegal to look up a phone contact, dial a number, stare at GPS or engage in any of the many other activities. The law is also difficult for law officers to enforce because a driver who was writing a text could simply say they were dialing the phone. Furthermore, the law does not require a driver to show an officer their phone.

The law falls far short of outlawing distracted driving. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, distracted driving is basically any activity that diverts attention away from driving. PennDOT makes clear that texting is not the only problem.

If an individual was injured in an accident that was caused by a driver who was distracted — whether by texting or another activity — from operating, they may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. A seasoned lawyer with experience in handling distracted driving cases can help ensure that an accident victim receives the most compensation possible under the states’ laws.

Source: Pennsylvania Consolidates Statutes, “Title 75 § 3316,” accessed on Jan. 9, 2018