Study: Many Pennsylvania drivers cannot resist texting and driving

A new study revealed that a large percentage of drivers are unable to resist the urge to text when they get behind the wheel.

When drivers in Pennsylvania get behind the wheel, many cannot resist the urge to pick up their cellphone and read, send and write text messages. According to a recent survey of 904 drivers, Time states that 18 percent of the participants reported that they could not stop themselves from using their cellphone to text behind the wheel. Additionally, 17 percent of the participants between the ages of 18 to 34 said they texted and drove "always or often," and 7 percent of those between the ages of 35 to 54 admitted to the same.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, texting and driving is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it combines the three primary types of distraction. These include the following:

  • Manual distraction-Drivers become manually distracted when they remove their hands from the steering wheel as they drive.
  • Cognitive distraction-When drivers take their focus away from driving, they become cognitively distracted.
  • Visual distraction-Drivers who look at something else besides the road in front of them as they drive are visually distracted.

Distracted driving activities like texting cause many deaths and injuries on the roads in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. every day. The CDC states that on a daily basis in the U.S., over 1,000 people are injured in a crash involving distraction and nine people are killed in crashes where a driver was distracted.

Pennsylvania distracted driving laws

To limit the number of drivers who text behind the wheel, the state of Pennsylvania enacted an anti-texting bill that went into effect on March 8, 2012, states the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Under this law, drivers are not allowed to use an Interactive Wireless Communication Device, like a wireless phone or portable mobile computer, to read or write text-based communication as they operate a vehicle. Since this law makes texting and driving a primary offense, law enforcement officials have the right to pull drivers over when they see drivers on the road texting, and they do not have to have another reason to do so.

Although Pennsylvania's anti-texting and driving law is designed to prevent drivers from texting, many drivers still choose to endanger the lives of others by texting behind the wheel every day. Those who were harmed in an accident caused by a driver who decided to make this choice may benefit from turning to an attorney to discuss their rights to fair and proper compensation.