For many of us who have smartphones, we all know about the Airplane Mode, which disables the phones’ wireless communication abilities. A smartphone cannot send or receive phone calls, text messages, picture messages, etc., while in Airplane Mode.
Now, for owners of Windows Phone 8, Driving Mode will be made available. Microsoft is updating its software for cell phones to include Driving Mode which automatically silences incoming calls and texts to reduce distracted driving. The update will also allow drivers to send out an automated reply to say that they are driving. The Driving Mode is activated automatically when the phone is linked wirelessly with a Bluetooth device in a car. However, the Driving Mode will not block outgoing calls or texts. Therefore, drivers can still send a text or talk on the phone while driving. Source: http://www.nbcnews.com (Windows Phone update has safe-driving mode, support for larger HD devices)
Apple iPhones have a Do Not Disturb Mode that is similar to the Driving Mode. The Do Not Disturb Mode holds calls, texts, and alerts. However, the feature has to be turned on manually by the driver.
There are also multiple apps on the market that drivers can download which have similar functions like the Driving Mode and Do Not Disturb Mode.
Though these modes and apps are great, the fact of the matter is, drivers are still texting while driving or talking on the phone while driving. In fact, there are distracted car, bus and even truck accidents around the country every day.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for drivers to text while driving. See Pennsylvania Enacts Law Banning Texting While Driving. Drivers who text while they are driving may face criminal and civil consequences. A driver who causes a fatal car accident due to texting can be charged with homicide by vehicle. If convicted, the distracted driver may face time in prison.
In addition, a texting driver can be held responsible for the injuries and damages sustained by the injured victims in a civil lawsuit. The distracted driver may also be “punished” in a civil lawsuit and be required to pay punitive damages, which are warranted when a driver acts in such a way that they show a patent disregard for the health and safety of others. Related Article: Pennsylvania & New Jersey Car Accident Law - What Can You Recover in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Rather than putting our phones in Drive Mode or Do Not Disturb Mode, why don’t we just put the phone in the glove compartment when we drive in Pennsylvania? No phone call or text is worth an innocent life. Many drivers who text while they drive think they are careful and won’t cause an accident. In fact, most distracted drivers who cause accidents never thought that it could happen to them. Why take the chance? Put the phone in the glove compartment the next time you get in a car.
If you or a loved one was injured in a distracted driving accident in Pennsylvania, feel free to call the PA car accident lawyers at White and Williams @ 877.944.8396.