Texting & Distracted Pennsylvania Drivers
Driving a motor vehicle today can be an interactive experience. There is often a to-go cup of coffee or tea within arm’s reach, maybe even a snack. Audio options abound – satellite, streaming, music, talk shows and talking books. GPS’s are also conversing with a driver and expressing directions and options. Smart phones can ring, beep, rattle and sing a little song whenever a call, message, text or other tone programmed event happens.
All these things compete with the primary focus of vehicle driver – the operator’s dedicated focus out through the windshield and into the entire range of near and far distances, to stay in control and identify potential situations that can compromise safe operation, and necessitate instant decisions that can be lifesaving for themselves and others. Things happen fast, and a smooth sail down the calm highway can suddenly change as a result of a problematic development that unexpectedly arises like choppy water on the open sea.
Texting has become the number one distraction, and the cultural compulsion to stay connected within some perceived urgency of communication is impacting everyone’s safety.
Statistics For Texting While Driving
A new report shows definitively that texting while driving in Pennsylvania is on the increase. In 2014, 1,410 Drivers were cited in Pennsylvania – over 5% more than in 2013. State police see a parallel to the advancing technology. In the USA, 3,154 individuals died in accidents related to driver distractions, and 2013 data displays injuries approaching a half million.
Attorneys are now seeing the consequences of incidents attributed to driver distractions. Many involved drivers who felt it could never happen to them, now realize it is just a blink of an eye that can change the outcome while traveling down the road. Accidents from compromised driver attention can happen at both high and low speeds. Single car crashes occur as well. Crack downs by authorities can certainly help minimize the texting compulsion, but the individuals who make smart phones their traveling companions have to be responsible for not letting this amazing technology become so overpowering that safety considerations and common sense are overridden.