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Pedestrians & Cyclists - Victims Of Texting While Driving Accidents In PA And Other Distracted Driving Accidents

We all know that texting while driving or talking while driving is dangerous and causes serious or even fatal car accidents.  In fact, texting or talking on the phone, along with other types of distracted driving such as eating also cause fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

In a recent study done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, researchers found that deaths in pedestrians and cyclists are increasing due to distracted driving. *Source: University of Nebraska Medical Center (Distracted Driving Killing More Pedestrians, Bicyclists)

The number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers in the U.S. increased from 344 to 500 between 2005 and 2010.  That is almost a 50% increase in the 5 year span.

The number of cyclists struck and killed by distracted drivers nationally increased from 56 to 73, a 30% increase, in that same time span.

Researchers say that distracted driving is pervasive in society.  You see drivers using their phones every day.  It is such a difficult problem to deal with because texting while driving does not have the social stigma like driving while intoxicated. 

In addition, it is very difficult to enforce laws banning texting while driving in many states.  For example, Pennsylvania’s law bans drivers from texting while driving, but drivers can still talk on their cell phones.  Therefore, if drivers are pulled over for texting while driving, the drivers may say that they were dialing their phones and not texting.

Related: Pennsylvania Enacts Law Banning Texting While Driving

Pedestrians And Cyclists’ Legal Rights After Getting Hit By Distracted Drivers

Pedestrians and cyclists who are injured as a result of getting hit by drivers who were texting or talking on their phones while driving may be able to recover for their injuries and damages.  Distracted drivers may be held accountable in civil personal injury lawsuits.

Related Case Result: Texting While Driving Accident Victims Receives $390,000

Some of the damages injured pedestrians and cyclists may recover are:

  • past and future medical expenses;
  • past and future lost wages;
  • out of pocket expenses; and
  • pain and suffering.

Though a punitive damages claim is typically not allowed in ordinary negligence lawsuits like a car accident, distracted drivers may be subject to punitive damages if their actions show a patent disregard for the health and safety of others.

In a PA car accident case in Lackawanna County, a trial judge ruled that a driver who causes an accident while using a GPS device may not only be found liable for the accident, but may also be subject to punitive damages if the driver had completely diverted his or her attention away from the road.

Therefore, if injured pedestrians and cyclists can prove that distracted drivers completely diverted their attention from the road, they may recover punitive damages. See Drivers Could Be Subject To Punitive Damages In Distracted Driving Accidents

Were You Hit By A Driver Who Was Texting While Driving In PA Or NJ? FREE Consultation

If you were hit by a car while crossing a street or riding a bike, you may have a right to recover financial compensation.  Daniel J. O’Brien, an experienced PA and NJ car accident injury lawyer, will give you the attention you deserve and explain your legal options.  Call today for a FREE consultation.  877.944.8396

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