Skip to main content

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities – Automakers Aren’t Helping

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities - Automakers Aren't Helping

Emerging technologies are cool and useful, but they can also take drivers down a path of distraction that leads to increased crashes.  Driving while distracted is illegal in 47 states, including Pennsylvania; but people are addicted to their gadgets and technology, and new cars have more of these than ever. As a result, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been studying how to minimize the driving distractions they say kill 3,500 people and injure 390,000 in U.S. crashes every year.

According to the Washington Post the study showed that new vehicle technology involving buttons, touch screens, gesture controls, heads-up displays, and voice commands are often not safe when used while the vehicle is in motion. For example, distractions from Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto shaved crucial seconds from the time that drivers could get their eyes back on the road.

The AAA survey found that almost half of drivers said they make calls and 35 percent sent a text or email while driving. In the less than 4.5 seconds it takes to send a text, a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field and can easily cause a crash.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a crash involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses, past, present and future.  Damages may also cover current and future lost wages, including loss of wage horizon.  Property loss may be covered as well as non-economic compensation, which is often the greatest loss.  Non-economic compensation may be loss of life’s pleasures during one’s life, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and other items.  However, your case must be handled correctly to prove the other driver was at fault or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Pennsylvania Distracted Driving

In the last five years, distraction citations in Pennsylvania have shot up dramatically, according to data by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.  There were 5,054 citations in 2017 for offenses related to texting, using a hand-held cell phone and wearing or using headphones while driving — up from 3,336 the year before, and up 172 percent from the 1,858 citations issued statewide in 2013.

Since March, 2012, Pennsylvania has had a law that prohibits all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation.  The law carries a $50 fine and nearly $90 in court costs.

Unfortunately, the texting ban is inadequate to protect people from drivers, especially teens, who are distracted by handheld devices, because Pennsylvania law doesn’t prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones (even hand-held ones) while their vehicle is in motion.


Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off what you’re doing). Texting is particularly dangerous as it involves all three, but so does fiddling with controls for many of the technological features found in newer vehicles.

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits. When drivers devote their attention to anything other than the road, they must be held responsible for any injuries they cause.


If you or a loved one was involved in a crash due to someone else’s negligence caused by driving while distracted, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and property and other damages.  To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the car accident and identify the responsible parties. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania distracted driving attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes.  As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex. Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania. This book is available at  Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.   Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters by calling or using our online contact form.