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Is texting and driving illegal in Pennsylvania?

Phones have become more than a tool to talk to someone far away. With the advancement of smart phones, you can access tons of apps that allow you to do anything from set up a date with someone you’ve never met to watch the latest viral cat video. There are benefits and pitfalls to having such a powerful tool at your fingertips. One downside being that it’s often hard to put your phone down, even while driving.

Distracted driving comes in many forms, from trying to change your music to having a quick meal while behind the wheel. Texting while driving is an ever-prevalent distraction. It has been proven time and time again that texting while driving leads to crashes, but, in a poll, majority of adults and teens surveyed said they could text and drive at the same time with ease.

Anti-texting law

The reality is you can be confident in your multitasking abilities, but your decision to send out a message before reaching your destination puts you and those around you in danger. Not only could a painful or even fatal crash be the outcome of your next “LOL,” but it’s actually illegal to text and drive in Pennsylvania.

A little over eight years ago, an anti-texting law went into effect to prohibit sending text messages, emails and other written communications with a wireless communication device. Non-commercial drivers don’t face any penalties on their record if police officer pulls them over for texting and driving, but they will have to pay a $50 fine.

Fighting the urge

Although it can be hard to unplug in such a digitally driven world, it’s important to put your phone down if you ever want to see the very person you are trying to text ever again.

Some ways you can avoid picking up your phone to type anything while you drive include:

  • Create playlists so you don’t wind up typing in an artist or song name while driving
  • Physically tuck your phone away in a purse or compartment or use an app or “do not disturb” setting to disable normal use of your phone
  • Pull over to send out a message, because sometimes emergency situations arise
  • Talk on the phone instead — using hands-free technology is ideal, however you can legally hold your phone while driving in Pennsylvania

If you or someone in your family has suffered injuries due to an inattentive driver, working with a car accident attorney could help you heal medically and financially.