Distracted driving is common, dangerous, and a leading cause of auto accidents across Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, many motorists consider distracted driving to be “multitasking,” especially when it comes to cell phone use.
In Pennsylvania, the law prohibits drivers from using devices to send, read, or write text-based messages while their vehicles are in motion. These devices include cell phones, personal digital assistants, computers, and other devices that allow texting, messaging, emailing, or using the internet. The law excludes GPS devices, vehicle integrated systems, and devices affixed to mass transit vehicles.
Besides distracted driving being against the law, it is also a selfish and careless choice. In 2020, distractions led to 11,019 crashes and 47 deaths on PA roadways. Each one of these crashes and deaths was preventable.
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What is Distracted Driving?
Texting and driving is not the only form of distracted driving. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s hands, eyes, or attention away from the task of driving.
There are three main types of driving distraction:
- Visual: looking away from the road
- Manual: removing hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: thinking about something other than driving
Texting is an especially alarming distraction, because it requires all of the above. It takes an average of 4.6 seconds to read a text. Looking away from the road for 4.6 seconds while driving 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Eating and drinking
- Smoking and vaping
- Calling, talking, and texting on a cell phone
- Using apps on a smartphone
- Grooming, such as fixing hair, applying makeup, or flossing
- Using a navigation system
- Adjusting the radio, CD player, or music streaming app
- Talking to passengers
- Rubbernecking when passing a crash scene or a work zone
Although many of the above distractions are legal, any of them can result in a crash. Legislators hoped that by passing the Pennsylvania Anti-Texting Law, the number of accidents in PA would decrease. However, it is a constant battle to keep people from engaging with their devices while driving. According to the CDC, accidents and crashes involving distracted drivers kill at least eight people a day nationwide.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, we can help you. Anapol Weiss is one of the top rated law firms in the country. In addition to our experience and passion for Pennsylvania personal injury law, many of our attorneys have received accolades from the most prestigious legal publications and groups. We also collect no fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Distracted Driving Is Personal at Anapol Weiss
Anapol Weiss has been at the forefront of the battle against distracted driving for more than a decade. Firm partner Joel Feldman became a leading safe driving advocate after his daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. Joel founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org), a project of the Casey Feldman Foundation. Since then, he and hundreds of volunteers (including many lawyers at Anapol Weiss) have spoken with half a million children and adults about the dangers of distractions. It is our hope that these efforts stigmatize distracted driving as the dangerous and disrespectful choice that it is.
Anapol Weiss has recovered more than a hundred million dollars on behalf of victims injured in vehicle related crashes. Some past cases that involve distracted drivers include:
- $9 million settlement involving a distracted bus driver
- $3.75 million settlement for a client who suffered a head injury in a collision caused by a distracted trash truck driver
- $1.45 million settlement for the family of a four-year-old killed by a distracted dump truck driver
- $1.4 million verdict for a mechanic who lost the use of his arm in a crash caused by a distracted driver
In addition to winning cases for victims and volunteering as speakers, Anapol Weiss attorneys have long supported the EndDD.org Video and Meme Contest. Managing partner, Sol Weiss, serves on the panel of judges to choose student winners in this annual contest.
Is Distracted Driving Considered Negligence?
When a person acts carelessly and someone else sustains injuries, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit allows them to recover compensation for the damages, or losses, that they have suffered.
A distracted driver that causes an accident and injuries has acted negligently. To prove negligence, the victim’s attorney must prove the following:
- The driver owed a “duty of care.” In other words, they had an obligation to follow traffic laws and drive safely and reasonably.
- The driver breached the duty of care by not driving safely and reasonably.
- Breaching the duty caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the driver’s actions. These damages could be financial, damage to property, and others.
The biggest challenge for the attorney is to prove that the at-fault driver breached their duty of care. Car insurance companies tend to argue that a different factor caused the victim’s injuries. They aim to pay out as little as possible. A skilled distracted driving attorney will stand up to these insurers, prove negligence, and demand maximum compensation.
Injuries from a Distracted Driver: Get Answers and Recover Your Losses
With more distracted drivers on the road, chances are high that people will be involved in an accident with someone who has taken his or her eyes off the road. If you find yourself in this situation, seek medical attention for yourself or others (if necessary), take photographs of the incident, and report it to the police.
Once you’ve received the necessary medical care, contact the Philadelphia distracted driving lawyers at Anapol Weiss. We represent victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our team will discuss your situation and investigate the crash to determine the cause. If you decide to retain us, we’ll gather evidence, such as cell phone records if applicable, police reports, and witness testimony. We’ll build your case, prove the distracted driver caused your injuries, and seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
We have recovered millions of dollars for auto accident clients, and we can help you. Our legal team can seek compensation for your losses related to the crash. These may include:
- Related medical expenses
- Lost past and future wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering due to your injuries
- Other related personal care costs
- Loss of quality of life and earning capacity
At Anapol Weiss, our attorneys fully understand the process, the judicial system, and how to handle insurance companies. We can be your advocates and fight for what you deserve, so you can focus on moving forward.
Contact Our Philadelphia Distracted Driving Lawyers
Pennsylvania law limits the time you have to file a distracted driving lawsuit. After that time has passed, you can no longer seek justice and compensation. Speaking with our team as soon as possible can help protect your legal rights.
At Anapol Weiss, we care about the well-being and future of our clients. That’s why we use all the resources necessary to go the distance with every one of our cases. We offer free case evaluations, so you’ve got nothing to lose by calling us. We’re confident you will feel at ease when you speak with a member of our team.
Contact an experienced Philadelphia distracted driving attorney at Anapol Weiss. We have the skills and knowledge to compile evidence and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. Call us today to set up your free consultation.