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distracted driving Archives

PA's Distracted Driving Laws

Unfortunately, PA seems relative lenient on distracted driving use compared to other states.  This is a dangerous and significant problem when it comes to the safety of drivers on our state's roads.  Interestingly enough, PA does not currently have a law that prohibits drivers from using their cell phones while they're driving.  Instead, PA only has a texting law that prohibits sending and receiving text messages.  This means that drivers can still use social media, take pictures, or use other phone features while driving.  Additionally, the fines imposed if you are caught texting while driving are minimal compared to other states.  Across the state, over 18,000 citations have been issued over the past five years, and the total amount issued has increased by almost 120%.  Almost all people cited were males, and most were in their 20s.  

Car Crash Ejects One From Vehicle

Unfortunately, a recent accident in Clearfield County is making the local news.  According to reports, a driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol did not stop at a stop sign, and consequently hit another car.  The other car had two people inside, and one of them was thrown through the side window and went to the hospital to receive care.   Police continue to investigate the incident.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a significant cause of car crashes across the state.  If you are a victim of a car crash due to another's negligent driving practices, and have sustained injuries, it may be time to seek legal advice. Attorney Doug Stoehr is your experienced Altoona, PA area injury attorney who can review your claim.  Call his office at 814-946-4100 to learn more and discuss your potential case.

Original article may be found here:  https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/local-news/car-accident-in-clearfield-sends-one-person-through-passenger-window/

Fatal Crash Likely Caused by Distracted Driving

An incident of texting while driving recently took the life of a pedestrian in PA.  According to news sources, a college student was texting while driving her car in Allentown.  She ran a red light and hit a minivan, which caused her car to spin into a nearby pedestrian. That pedestrian was thrown over 20 feet in the air and died soon after. The driver's cell phone data reflected that she was arguing with someone else over text at the time of the accident.  Additionally, videos from the crash scene show that the driver's car did not slow down as it approached the red light at the intersection, although other cars responded appropriately according to the traffic lights. 

PA Accidents Are Trending In A Negative Way

Pennsylvania is in the midst of an unsettling trend in recent years.  PennDOT reports that about 4,000 people are hit by cars each year in our state.  These pedestrian/car encounters seem to increase during the winter months, where drivers appear to be more aggressive, especially in the afternoon.  Many of these accidents also appear to involve distraction, either on the part of the driver or the pedestrian.   To increase visibility, it is recommended that pedestrians stay off of their phones, wear reflective clothing, walk against the flow of traffic, and cross only at designated areas.  Drivers need to be alert, not distracted by mobile devices, and anticipate pedestrians on the road with them. 

Be Aware This Thanksgiving!

As you may be aware, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to be on the road.  As the holiday is fast approaching, it is a good time to remind others to take care as they plan their Thanksgiving holiday travel. According to USA Today,  "During each Thanksgiving week from 2005-2010, the average number of traffic fatalities nationwide was 798; for all other weeks, the average was 748, according to a new University of Alabama analysis of federal data on road deaths." Additionally, car crashes, in general, tend to rise to about 25% above the average on Thanksgiving as compared to other days during the year. 

Drug and Alcohol Use High Among Commercial Truck Drivers

Summer is a prime time for families to hit the road and enjoy the American tradition of a summer road trip vacation. Often, we share the roads with large tractor-trailers.  Unfortunately, sometimes drivers of these trucks are not following best safety practices. These drivers are sometimes engaged in dangerous habits, such as distracted driving and operating their truck while fatigued.  Equally as alarming is a recent study that was highlighted by Reuters.  According their article, truck drivers across countries sometimes also take illegal drugs and then drive their vehicles.  This information, compiled via drivers self-reports and through results of drug testings, found that " about half [of truck drivers] admitted to drinking and driving and 30 percent admitted to using amphetamines, on average. The numbers varied greatly from country to country." However, the article also noted that "One U.S. study had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests worldwide, at 12.5 percent."

Top Causes of Teen Summer Driving Accidents

Many of us know that summer is a big season for teen driving accidents, since students are out of school and on the roads more frequently.  However, did you know what the major causes of teen driving accidents in the summer are? AAA has compiled some data to take a look at this phenomenon, what the causes of accidents are, and how we can help prevent them.  According to their study, the top causes for teen driving accidents in the summer are 1) talking or getting something for someone else in the vehicle, 2) using their cell phones to talk, text, and/or use an app, and 3) attending/looking for something else inside of the vehicle.  

Apps to Reduce Distracted Driving

Did you know that there are apps you can download to help you be a safer driver?  DMV.org listed some apps that you can put on your phone to keep you safer and less distracted when driving down our nation's roads.  Some of the apps block text messages while you're driving, while others send out notifications when you've left and arrived at your destination safely.  Others share your location and reward you for the numbers of safe miles that you've driven! Read more here to figure out which apps may be right for you and your family members.  

Truck Drivers Guilty of Distracted Driving

When you see tractor-trailers moving along our country's highways, you expect their drivers to be safe, alert, and vigilant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  A local New York City news source posted an article a few years ago about the increased occurrence of truck drivers who text and drive.  According to the news report, through local ABC news station 13WHAM,  "A hidden camera investigation has uncovered a dangerous trend on highways. WABC-TV in New York City set up camera on several of highly travel roadways, catching truckers texting and talking on their phones and one driver even talking on two cell phones at once. The New York State Department of Transportation said nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for distracted driving in 2013, but only four of them were suspended and taken out of service." 4 out of 16,000 drivers who were caught texting while driving seems like a tiny percentage!  

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