Attention parents – your teenager’s cell phone may be the most dangerous hazard on the road. A recent insurance survey found that teens say texting is their #1 distraction on the roadways. Another recent study found that over one-third of all young drivers send text messages while driving, with one-fifth of all drivers texting at the wheel of their cars.
From 2003 to 2005, auto accidents in western PA that involved cell phones as a contributing factor shot up 36 percent. But because text messaging is still a recent phenomenon, there are currently no crash statistics regarding texting.
There are no laws in Pennsylvania preventing text messaging while driving; laws only currently exist in New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut and Washington. Last year the PA state government failed to pass a bill that would have penalized distracted drivers, include those who text behind the wheel.