When a driver becomes distracted, that distraction can put other drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike in danger. Despite this danger, Pennsylvania law only addresses some sources of driver distraction. What types of distracted driving does Pennsylvania law prohibit?

What can cause distracted driving?

Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel or their mind off the task of driving can lead to distracted driving. These distractions can include adjusting the radio or windows, eating food while driving, talking to passengers, daydreaming, focusing on something on the side of the road and many other issues.

What type of distracted driving is illegal in Pennsylvania?

While any cause of distraction can pose a danger to others on the road, Pennsylvania law has specifically addressed one particular distraction: text messages. Pennsylvania law prohibits using a wireless phone, mobile computer or personal digital assistant to write, send or read written communication like text messages or emails while operating a moving vehicle.

This law does not cover other forms of cell phone use, including using a global positioning system (GPS) application on a smartphone or taking a call while driving. It also does not prohibit texting while behind the wheel of a stationary vehicle—for example, responding to a text while stopped at a red light.

What can people injured by distracted drivers do?

Whether the driver was illegally sending a text message or simply daydreaming, people injured due to another’s distracted driving can take legal action to hold them responsible. Injured people or their loved ones may want to speak to an attorney to explore their options and pursue the compensation they need to recover.