Distracted driving frequently leads to car crashes, and texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. Using a handheld device to text while operating a vehicle is illegal, but that does not stop people from doing it.
If you were injured in a texting while driving car accident in Cambria County, contact a legal professional right away. A determined car crash lawyer could collect evidence proving distracted driving and use it to pursue a claim for damages.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics indicate that distracted drivers caused more than 14,000 accidents leading to 65 fatalities in the Commonwealth per year. Many of those drivers were using interactive wireless communication devices at the time of the crash. The DOT notes that texting diverts a driver’s eyes away from the road longer than other forms of distraction.
The federal National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that a driver reading or responding to a text must take his or her eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. The NHTSA notes that at 55 miles per hour in that 5-second span, a car would travel the length of a football field before the driver’s attention returned to the road.
When drivers ignore the road in front of them, they could veer from their lane, crash into obstacles, miss stop signs, and go through red lights. He or she could miss a turn or exit and engage in risky maneuvers to get back on course. Distracted driving—especially driving while texting—creates many circumstances that could lead to serious accidents. Failing to devote appropriate attention to the road while driving is negligent and those who are found guilty could be held legally accountable.
The state’s law against texting while driving, 75 P.S. § 3316, bars drivers from using a device to read, write, or send written messages while a vehicle is in motion. Conviction does not lead to points on an offender’s driver’s license and results in a $50 fine.
Although a driver who gets a ticket for texting faces minimal criminal consequences, it is another story if a driver gets into an accident while texting. The car accident liability system in the Commonwealth makes the driver at-fault responsible for the losses any other party suffered due to the crash.
Someone who suffered injuries in a crash and believes the other driver was texting should contact a Cambria County injury lawyer as soon as possible.
A person seeking to hold a driver responsible for causing an accident due to texting while driving must present evidence to prove that the defendant is at-fault for the crash. If the driver received a ticket for violating the texting while driving prohibition, that conduct could be evidence of negligence.
If the driver did not receive a ticket, an accident attorney could still investigate to find proof that the defendant was texting. The legal professional could review the police report, witness statements, and driver admissions to find evidence of texting while driving. If necessary, the attorney could subpoena a driver’s cell phone records, in-vehicle camera footage, and surveillance video to establish that the driver was negligently violating the law against texting while driving.
In rare cases, another party might be liable in a texting while driving accidents in Cambria County. For example, a driver’s employer could be negligent in its own right if the employer requires the employee to be available via text message even when driving. An employer will also be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its employee, as long as the employee was acting within the course and scope of the employment. A diligent legal professional could identify all potentially responsible parties and hold them accountable for an injured person’s losses.
When someone else’s negligent act causes you harm, he or she should pay, especially if the negligent conduct is also against the law.
If a texting while driving car accident in Cambria County left you with injuries, consult a local lawyer as soon as you can. An experienced professional at Marcus & Mack could review your situation and advise you about the best way to proceed. Call today.
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