April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Most drivers understand the dangers associated with texting and driving, and yet a large number of those drivers ignore these perils or otherwise believe they belong to a nonexistent elite cavalry that can text, drive, and still pay attention to the road.

April 2014 is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the US Department of Transportation has launched a “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign that runs until April 15 to combat distracted driving. This 30-second video, which has seen immersion in both television and online outlets, shows a woman looking down at her phone and driving through a stop sign before she is hit from the side by a tractor trailer.

u-drive-u-text-u-pay

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2012.

THE LAW IN PENNSYLVANIA

In the Keystone State, using your cell phone while driving to send or receive texts, emails, or messages of any kind is illegal. If you are caught using a mobile device for any of the above purposes, the PA Department of Transportation will issue you a $50 fine. It is not illegal to make phone calls while driving.

However, if you must make or receive a call while driving, you should:

  • Pull off the road whenever possible.
  • Use a hands-free device.
  • Never participate in emotionally heated conversations.

We would like to ask our readers: