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Is there a law in Pennsylvania that prevents texting while driving? I was in a car accident and the other driver was using a cell phone.  Do I have a case?


A: At the present moment, there is no law which bans texting while driving. However, Gov. Tom Corbett approved Senate Bill 314 in November 2011, which bans texting while driving.  The law takes effect early March 2012, and it specifically bans sending, reading or writing “a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion.”  The driver is subject to primary enforcement, which means police officers can stop and cite the offenders.  The fine for the citation is $50.

Pennsylvania Case Law on Texting and Driving and Car Accidents

The landscape of Pennsylvania law is changing, especially with a sharp increase in recent years of car accidents caused by cell phone use or texting and driving.  Innocent car accident victims who are seriously injured in car accidents due to cell phone use can make multiple types of claims:
  • negligence
  • negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • negligent entrustment
  • loss of consortium
  • punitive damages
To read about these types of claims, read our article:  Car Accidents Due to Cell Phone Use-What Types of Claims an Injured Party Can Make in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

In a recent October, 2011 case in Berks county, the court discussed a case where a car owner was sued for entrusting their car to a young adult who used a cell phone while driving and caused an accident.  Although in that case, the court would not allow that claim against the owner, the court discussed situations where a parent or car owner could be held liable under a theory of negligent entrustment.  Parents/owners who entrust their cars to children who are known to text and drive or otherwise be irresponsible drivers can be sued for negligent entrustment if their child causes a car accident while texting and driving.

Help After Being Injured in a Texting While Driving Accident

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident because of cell phone use or texting while driving in PA or NJ, contact our experienced PA and NJ personal injury lawyers at White and Williams.  1-877-944-8396. We will provide a free, no obligation consultation on your case.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. 

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