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Distracted Driving Continues to Be a Problem Nationwide

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study that said one in 20 drivers observed at any given moment is holding a mobile phone to his or her ear, and that almost one in 100 can be observed sending a text message to otherwise manipulating a digital device.

CNN.com reported about the study in a recent article. The NTSA said there is evidence that 3,092 deaths – one-tenth of all roadway fatalities last year – involved distracted drivers. In an effort to follow trends and focus research in the future, officials are new measurement of fatalities, called “distraction-affected crashes.” It will focus more narrowly “on crashes in which a driver was most likely to have been distracted.”

According to the NHTSA, eight states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington) as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands ban driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone. Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers.

In Pennsylvania, there is currently no statewide ban relating to talking on a cell phone while driving. However, the Anti-Texting Law goes into effect March 8, 2012. The law prohibits any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read, or write a text-based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion.

It’s always the safest bet to pull off the road if you need to make a call, receive a call, or read or type a text message. It may be a hard habit to break, but in the long run it helps keep the roadways safe for all drivers. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident where the other driver was distracted by using a cell phone, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the automobile accident lawyers of Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.