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Car accident paves way for concern over distracted driving

Several communities around Pennsylvania have already taken steps to ban the use of cell phones behind the wheel. But now steps are being taken by local lawmakers to make the ban statewide. This campaign was started after concern was raised over a fatal car accident that was caused when a driver was texting behind the wheel.

The incident occurred approximately two years ago when a teenager was texting and driving and crashed into a bus; the accident killed an expecting mother. Since then, supporters of a statewide ban have fought for legislation that would penalize drivers who are caught using their phone while driving.

A national survey last year showed:

  • 5,474 individuals were killed in distracted driving accidents
  • Nearly 500,000 individuals were injured in distracted driving accidents
  • 18 percent of the fatal accidents involved cell phone use

The article notes that the bill does not just address texting and driving. The bill has a broader scope, establishing penalties for people who are eating or reading behind the wheel as well. A law enforcement officer mentioned even seeing a driver reading a newspaper while on the road.

These types of distractions can cause serious car accidents. It can take only a matter of seconds for a driver to glance away from the road and crash into a vehicle in front of them. The resulting injuries that can come from another person's negligence are often devastating.

Victims of car accidents do not only suffer physical injuries; there is emotional trauma as well. In addition, victims often have to deal with growing medical costs for treatment and sometimes even therapy. In those situations, it can help to discuss the situation with someone who knows what options exist for victims of a car crash.

Source: Daily Local News online, "New turn for a texting law," Fran Maye, 16 May 2011

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