The Latest Distracted Driving Statistics

Over the past several years, distracted driving citations in the Commonwealth have skyrocketed. Allegheny County has the second-highest number of tickets for this statewide, following Montgomery County. Philadelphia was third, followed by Chester and Bucks Counties.

In 2017, statewide distracted driving citations shot up by 51 percent. In 2018, citations were down by 5 percent, but that is still a 118 percent increase since 2014.

Under state law, drivers cannot read, send, or write emails or text messages while on the road. However, they can talk on cellphones. Unlike neighboring states, Pennsylvania does have a statute mandating the use of hands-free phones while driving.

These days, distracted drivers cause more accidents than those driving while under the influence. Part of the steep ticket increase is due to more state troopers and local police cracking down on this threat.

Victims of distracted drivers know how such negligence impacts lives. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from our firm will hold the driver responsible for your injuries accountable so you may receive the compensation you deserve.

Distracted driving

Although texting and cellphone use has caused a significant rise in accidents resulting from distracted driving, many other distractions for the person behind the wheel result in crashes. These include:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Adjusting with audio equipment
  • GPS adjustments
  • Loose pets
  • Personal grooming
  • Rubbernecking
  • Talking with passengers

One of the most frequent causes of distracted driving is more accurately termed “daydream driving.” Almost everyone has done this at one time or another, but it is a dangerous practice.

Distracted driving statistics

In 2017, 15,614 crashes occurred due to distracted driving in Pennsylvania, and 58 people lost their lives. According to AAA, drivers using a cellphone for texting or surfing the internet increase the risk of having a car accident by two to eight times.

The overwhelming majority of those receiving tickets for distracted driving in the state, 69 percent, are male. Those in their 20s were most often cited, at 37 percent. Teenagers made up 6 percent, and senior drivers over 70 made up a negligible amount, less than 1 percent.

Of course, statistics do not tell the whole story because many drivers will not admit they were distracted at the time of the collision.

While cellphone records can dispute a driver’s claims, that is not the case if the driver was checking their makeup or in a heated discussion with another occupant of the car.

Contact us for a free consultation

Each year, thousands of people in western Pennsylvania are hurt in accidents involving a distracted driver. If you or someone you know was seriously injured, you need the services of an experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer from our team.

Arrange a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or submitting our online contact form. Our attorneys have recovered $1 billion for clients in verdicts and settlements. There is never a fee unless we win.