Smartphones may have made personal communication easier, but they may have also had an unintended side-effect — constant availability. It used to be the case that work was done in the workplace, and at the end of the day workers went home. A workers time was their own until the next workday. However, now that we can make phone calls, send texts, reply to emails and post on social media all through one hand-held device, many people feel they must be “on-call” when it comes to work at all hours. The personal stress this constant availability causes aside, there is a major issue that is making roadways in Pennsylvania and across the nation more dangerous — distracted driving in the form of cellphone use.
According to a recent survey, 37 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 to 34 reported feeling pressure to respond to work-related messages while behind the wheel. Across all age groups in this survey, that number sat on average at 25 percent. This is significant, since around 3,500 people each year lose their lives in car accidents involving distracted drivers.
Unfortunately, many people ignore safety laws and regulations and cause a car accident by texting and driving or performing some other task behind the wheel that takes their attention off the road. When this happens, those injured in a distracted driving accident may want to determine if they have grounds for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence.
Distracted driving breaches a motorist’s duty of care to operate their vehicle reasonably given the circumstances. If this breach causes others to suffer damages, the at-fault motorist may be deemed negligent and thus liable for the harms the victims of the crash suffered. But, any personal injury case is very fact-specific. Therefore, if a person was injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, that person will want to seek the professional advice necessary to determine if they can pursue a personal injury claim.