Distracted driving causes thousands of fatal accidents in the United States each year. In response to this danger, Pennsylvania has banned the use of wireless devices for motorists.
Review the state’s rules about device use by drivers and take steps to avoid distractions behind the wheel.
Terms of the texting ban
Drivers may not use interactive wireless communication devices to compose, read or send an electronic message while the car is moving. The state categorizes all laptops, smartphones, tablets, personal digital assistants and similar devices as IWCDs. However, this category does not include vehicle-integrated communication systems and devices, GPS navigation systems, and devices in school buses and mass transit vehicles.
A driver who receives a ticket for this primary offense must pay a $50 fine plus court fees.
Ways to avoid driving distractions
Before taking to the road, motorists should set their devices on do not disturb and stow them somewhere safe in the vehicle. Program GPS routes, music and other necessities before pulling out of the driveway.
Devices are not the only dangerous distraction for drivers. Pennsylvania also cautions drivers to avoid:
- Looking at crash sites, work zones or other events instead of the road
- Applying makeup, brushing hair and other grooming tasks
- Writing or reading
- Looking for an item in the vehicle
- Getting distracted by passenger conversations or actions
- Adjusting the stereo
- Drinking and eating
Taking care of these items before a trip can help drivers avoid serious auto accidents caused by distractions. Parents should set a good example for teen drivers, who are most likely to cause distraction-related accidents.