Pennsylvania Cell Phone Usage
Cell phone use is to blame for thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. It simply is not possible to concentrate fully on driving while holding, dialing, or looking up information on a cell phone. A recent study concluded definitively that cell phone use causes slower reaction time. The use of a hands-free device while driving is not advisable either, as one’s full attention while driving should be focused on driving. While on the road, the window of opportunity is a narrow one, and slower reaction time equates to more accidents. Yet, as we all know, all too well, it has become a real-time world, and people want real-time answers. That translates to the apparent need for constant communications, even when we are driving. Furthermore, as more and more people use their phones not just for phone conversations, but for email and internet research as well, the problem is bound to intensify, and Pennsylvania is no exception in this clear and convincing trend.
Given the dangers, a cell phone use ban would seem to be the panacea, but to date only a few states have laws on the books that prohibit cell phone use while driving. The number of states with such laws will likely continue to increase in the future. Even where there are no applicable statutes, the ordinary rules of negligence continue to apply. Drivers owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty of reasonable care, that is to say, they must exercise the degree of care that an ordinary person would exercise while driving to safeguard the rights of innocent third parties. Although in the absence of a governing statute, it is a question of fact under the particular circumstances, the use of a cell phone while driving is rarely viewed as reasonable under Pennsylvania cell phone use law.
Haggerty & Silverman’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania based Cell Phone Use Law Attorneys have deep knowledge of the legal principles underlying personal injury claims involving negligent cell phone use. Whether your cell phone use claim arises from an auto accident, truck accident, SUV rollover or any other type of vehicle claim, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation, please complete our claim form online or contact us by phone at 888-243-4326.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How dangerous is driving while using a cell phone?
A: According to a 2006 study conducted by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving has the same potential of danger as driving while intoxicated at the legal limit of .08.
Q: How can I prove that the other driver was on his/her cell phone at the time of the accident?
A: In some cases your attorney will subpoena the driver’s cell phone records after the suit is filed.
Q: What other information can cell phone records provide?
A: Cell phone records can not only provide information regarding call times and text times but also whether a vehicle was moving while the phone was in use.
Q: Who is most at risk for being involved with a distracted driving accident?
A: 16% if all distracted driving accidents involve drivers under the age of 20. It should be noted that an estimated 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone at any given time of day (during daylight hours).
Q: Is is safe to use a hands-free device to talk on the phone while driving?
A: Research thus far indicates that even using a hands-free device causes drivers to miss the important audio and visual cues that would ordinarily help avoid an accident.
Q: If distracted driving is so dangerous why doesn’t the United States Department of Transportation make it illegal?
A: Unfortunately the US DOT can’t. Passenger vehicle driving behavior falls under the jurisdiction of each individual state. With that said Congress has considered many laws that would prevent distracted driving but none have come to fruition as of yet.