Pennsylvania has not made driving while phoning illegal yet. Does this activity constitute reckless conduct? A recent study shows that for every 6 seconds one drives and texts, 4.2 seconds are spent NOT WATCHING the road. Distraction is the number one cause of preventable car accidents. Using a cell phone even for conversation only while driving is the chief cause..
Recent court cases in PA have declared driving while phoning is worthy of punitive damage consideration. A punitive award is rendered to punish someone for: Conduct that is outrageous because of the defendant’s evil motives or his reckless indifference to the rights of others; the act or omission must be intentional, reckless, or malicious. Do you agree with the court that driving while using a cell phone may qualify? Well the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County PA analyzed a case to determine whether a driver on a cell phone who ran into a stop motorist was reckless or only negligent. It concluded that the behavior was reckless and that punitive damages can be considered. The case will go through the whole of the judicial system before it is set in stone.
Can you afford to talk and drive? For those who use cell phones while driving, if you cause an accident and a jury renders a PUNITIVE award, your auto policy does not pay the punitive part only the Bodily Injury and Property damage parts. In other words, you could be on your own.