Distracted driving continues to be a problem on the roads

According to a recent report from the Insurance Information Institute, or III, incidents of distracted driving on the public roads have never been more frequent.

Despite legal efforts as well as public pressure, the III still estimates that, at any moment, over 7 out of 100 drivers are using their cell phones while trying to operate their vehicles.

While some of this usage may involve hands-free equipment, a cell phone call or an audio text still takes some of the driver’s mental attention away from the road.

Moreover, many people will hold their phones in their hands or fiddle with them while they are driving, taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for several seconds at a time.

The III believes that the problem of distracted driving is getting worse year over year. According to the III, one organization observed a 30% increase in the frequency of distracted driving per mile driven.

Not surprisingly, more distracted driving translates into more serious or even fatal motor vehicle accidents.

For its part, the insurance industry is hopeful that new so-called telematics programs will discourage distracted driving.

Basically, telematics can use modern technology to measure whether a motorist is using their phone and driving. Insurance companies use this data to detect and effectively punish distracted drivers with higher insurance premiums.

Injured Scranton-area residents may hold distracted drivers accountable

Pennsylvania has laws which prohibit texting and driving. These laws allow police to pull over a driver if the officer notices the driver is texting on their phone, even if the driver is otherwise following the law.

In addition to being easier to enforce, this law also can help injured victims of distracted drivers.

If a person involved in accident gets cited for texting and driving, the accident victim may have an easier time establishing that the distracted driver is legally responsible to pay compensation to the victim. The victim can hold distracted drivers accountable for paying medical bills, lost wages and other damages.