Auto Accidents & Cell Phone Use While Driving in Pittsburgh, PA
Distracted driving is a very dangerous thing that occurs on many roadways throughout the Pittsburgh area. People will use their cell phones or text while driving, and these can cause accidents as they do not have a full attention of the road. This poses a special risk to you and your passengers. Car and truck accidents are unavoidable with the volume of cars on the road, but distracted driving adds an increased risk to you of an accident. The experienced Pittsburgh distracted driving attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC have been handling injured victims’ claims for years. We pride ourselves on providing you and your family excellent representation. Contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation so we can evaluate your distracted driving accident.
Cell Phone Accident Lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA
Extensive field research shows that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. According to published studies, drivers using phones are as high as four times more likely to cause a crash than other drivers, and the chance that they will cause a crash is as high as someone with a .08% blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are considered intoxicated in Pennsylvania. Research also shows that hands-free devices do not eliminate the risks, and may make them worse by suggesting to drivers that their behavior is safe. A 2003 Harvard study estimated that cell phone distractions caused 2,600 traffic deaths every year, and 330,000 accidents that result in moderate or severe injuries. These alarming statistics notwithstanding, new studies show that drivers grossly overestimate their ability to safely multitask, even as they worry about the dangers of others being able to safely drive and text or speak on their cell phone. The federal government has warned drivers against talking on a cellphone while driving, but, to date, no state legislature has banned it.
Five states and the District of Columbia have required that drivers who talk on cellphones use hands-free devices. However, research shows that using headsets can be just as dangerous as holding a phone because it is the conversation that has been shown to distract the driver from focusing on the road. Fourteen states have passed measures to ban texting while driving. Verizon Wireless posts instructions on its Web sites advising people not to talk while driving, with or without a headset. However, Verizon and the other leading cellphone companies do not support legislation that bans drivers from talking on the phone.Overall, cellphone use has soared in the United States. From 1995 to 2008, the number of wireless subscribers in the United States increased eightfold, to 270 million, and minutes talked rose 58-fold. In 2008, the National Highway traffic Safety Administration published a study indicating that at any time during daylight hours in 2007, 11% (1.8 million drivers) of all drivers were using a cellphone.In a survey of 1500 people conducted in 2008 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance, 81% of cellphone owners acknowledged that they talk on phones while driving, and 98% considered themselves safe drivers. However, 45% said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver talking on a cellphone.
At the present time there is no Pennsylvania-wide ban on text-messaging or using cell phones while driving. This may change in the near future. In July 2009, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would ban text-messaging. This bill is called SB 143 and would call for a fine of $100 per violation. A similar bill was approved by the House Transportation Committee in November 2009. The House bill is called HB 2070 and would call for a fine of $50 per violation. The House bill is scheduled for House-wide vote on January 25, 2010.
Several townships and cities in Pennsylvania have passed local bans on cell phone use and or text-messaging while driving. Those counties and cities that have passed such bans include the City of Philadelphia (enforcement began December 1, 2009); the City of Erie (went into effect January 2010); Lower Chichester Township in Delaware County (ordinance enacted August 2009); and Carbondale Township in Lackawanna County (ban went into effect 2007).
Check back frequently to this page for any new developments in the law of Pennsylvania on the use of cellphones and text-messaging while driving.
Regardless of any formal ban on cell phone usage or text-messaging while driving, the law of Pennsylvania requires all drivers to pay adequate attention while driving. If someone ran into you because they were texting or speaking on their cell phone while driving, you may have a legal claim against them to compensate you for your physical injuries.
Contact Our Offices Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation for Your Distracted Driving Accident and Personal Injury Claim
If you were in an accident and the other driver was using a cell phone or text messaging at the time of the accident, you may be entitled to money damages to compensate you for your injuries. There are many dangerous drivers out there that pose a risk you and your family, and you need to be compensated when they do something to you. The Pittsburgh distracted driving accident attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC have been representing victims of cell phone use accidents for years. If you have been injured in the Pittsburgh area and treated at a hospital such as UPMC Presbyterian Hospital or Forbes Hospital, contact us today to set up your free consultation. Our office is located at 310 Grant St #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 and consultations can be scheduled either online here or over the phone at (412) 471-4300.