Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pennsylvania Drivers Will Now Face Enhanced Penalties for Texting and Driving

What are my rights if I am injured by a distracted driver in PA?

Recently, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that enhanced the penalties for serious accidents caused by texting and driving.  House Bill 2025, known as “Daniel’s Law,” creates more stringent penalties for distracted driving in PA that results in severe injury or death.  Before passage of the legislation, violation of the state’s texting while driving law was a summary offense with just a $50 penalty.  Under Daniel’s Law, distracted driving accidents causing serious injury or death will be punished similarly to drunk driving offenses, such as homicide by vehicle.  

It is hoped that Pennsylvania’s new texting and driving law will send a strong message that distracted driving will not be tolerated in the state.  The law was introduced in honor of Daniel Gallatin, a Lawrence County resident, who was killed on May 7, 2013 while riding his motorcycle by a driver who was texting and driving.  For Daniel’s family and friends, passage of the long-awaited law provides some peace of mind knowing that through this law lives will be saved.

Distracted Driving Claims Lives in PA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that 66 people were killed in distracted driving accidents last year and more than 300 fatalities occurred within the past five years.  Texting and driving remains the primary cause of distracted driving accidents.  During the time it takes you to read a text message, your vehicle will travel the distance of a football field.  Texting and driving increases your risk of an accident by an astounding 23 fold.

Liability for Distracted Driving Accidents

If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to investigate whether the other driver may have been distracted at the time of the crash.  Distraction can be hard to spot, but should be suspected if the other driver seemed to be glancing down at the time of the crash.  Your Pennsylvania automobile accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your accident and gather evidence in support of your personal injury claim.  Accident victims injured by distracted drivers in Pennsylvania may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical expense, lost wages, pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages.

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