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The problem of distracted driving in Pennsylvania

Distracted driving has become increasingly problematic in both Pennsylvania and across the country, especially with more and more people using cellphones. Each year, thousands of people are seriously injured or even killed in accidents as a result of distracted driving, yet people still continue to reach for their cellphones to read and respond to text messages. Such driving behavior endangers not only the distracted driver but also everyone else on the road around them.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are telling. According to the CDC, distracted drivers kill nine people every day in the country and seriously injure 1,153 more. While other activities in addition to texting can distract drivers, including talking on cellphones, eating, talking to passengers and fiddling with navigation systems, texting is by far the most dangerous, as it involves visual, cognitive and manual tasks, all of which take the driver's attention away from the road.

During 2012, there were 421,000 injuries and 3,328 deaths nationwide due to distracted driving. In 2011, almost 20 percent of all injury accidents resulted from distracted driving. People still use their cellphones, despite the inherent risks. For the thirty days preceding one survey, 69 percent of the respondents admitted to having talked on their cellphones while driving, while 31 percent admitted to texting at least once during the previous month.

State governments have tried to limit the risks of serious car accidents due to distracted driving by taking several actions. In many states, texting while driving is illegal. Expensive advertising and educational campaigns have been implemented in order to teach the public about the dangers. Despite the steps taken, distracted driving continues to be a huge problem. Those who are seriously injured by a distracted driver may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to recover damages.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", January 03, 2015

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