A serious vehicle crash can threaten your license, along with your legal record, and many of these accidents occur because of distracted driving.
Following the letter of the law includes putting your cell phone away and focusing solely on the road.
What it is
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, distracted driving laws prohibit drivers from using any kind of wireless communication device while operating a car, including smartphones and tablets. GPS systems are not included in this definition.
Since you have to take your eyes off the road to type or select items on-screen, using a device can greatly increase the probability of hitting a pedestrian or driver.
Impact on accidents
Although cell phones are not the only distraction in a car, they are the most ubiquitous in today’s increasingly technological world. Since mobile devices capture your visual, manual and cognitive attention, they are especially dangerous. Your cognitive functions are concentrating on what to type, while your visual and manual attention is on the phone instead of the road. Taking your hands off the wheel even for a few seconds can lead to a delayed reaction time.
You may face charges for recklessness if an accident occurs, and repeat offenders face steeper charges each time. In Pennsylvania, state laws against texting supersede any local ordinances regarding reckless driving.
Steps to take
Using a hands-free mobile device is one way to prevent any legal issues. However, some drivers may be mistakenly fined for using a cell phone when no such use occurred. In this case, you could have an argument against the penalty.