Texting While Driving in Pennsylvania
In 2012 the State of Pennsylvania will enter the ranks of states that have passed laws prohibiting texting while driving. Pennsylvania will be the 35th state to pass legislation to discourage and prevention the dangerous driving distraction of texting. As cell phone technology continues to evolve, people are increasing the ways in which they use their wireless devices to communicate and connect.
Cell phones do everything these days from being a music player to a personal assistant to a tiny computer. Texting is becoming even more popular as a quick and easy way to communicate. However, the State of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Insurance Department are looking to curb or decrease the occurrence of texting related car collisions.
Across the country over 6,000 people die each year in distracted driving incidents. That is a minor number compared to the number of driving distraction injuries per – 500,000. Statistics show that texting while driving can take away as much as 5 seconds of attention span. That is enough to cross an entire football field if the car is going 55 mph. Texting makes driving response time slower and causes drivers to swerve out of their lane 10% more often. These risks are even higher for teenagers who are even more socially connected to their cell phones and have less driving experience to keep them safe.
Pennsylvania’s new law makes it illegal to send, read or receive electronically wired messages on any kind of communication device. There is no mention of prohibiting talking on cell phones while driving, just texting. Local law enforcement have the authority to pull over drivers if they even suspect they make be texting behind the wheel. In Pennsylvania alone there were over 14,000 accidents that involved driving distractions in 2010.
Pennsylvania auto insurance companies are behind this legislation. Reducing the number of accidents also reduces the number of claims. Fewer claims means that auto insurance costs in the state will either be maintained or possibly decrease. It is in the best interest of the state, car insurance companies and Pennsylvania drivers to reduce or even eliminate the texting while driving problem. When the car insurance companies save money, that savings can trickle down to policyholders encourage better rates. Plus, this bill can make the state roadways a bit safer for all motorists. Driving distractions are an unnecessary evil and bills such as these pave the way for states and car insurance companies to improve driving conditions and car insurance rates.