PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County has some of the most distracted drivers in the entire state, according to new statistics.
The latest numbers show that 8 percent of Pennsylvania’s distracted driving citations were issued in Allegheny County. The only other county with more citations was Montgomery County, where 11 percent of the state’s distracted driving citations were issued.
“It’s unsafe,” said one driver in East Liberty. “That’s why you see younger kids out there and they’re having car wrecks.”
According to the latest numbers from PA Courts Info-Share, citations in Allegheny County came in at 133 in 2013, 129 in 2014 and jumped to 295 in 2017.
“I think people get in the car and they think they’re in their living room still,” said another driver in East Liberty. “It’s surrounded by their personal stuff, and they forget its actually 55 miles an hour and a 3,000-pound car that they’re in.”
Overall, distracted driving citations increased by 52 percent statewide last year.
Pennsylvania laws prohibit drivers from sending, reading or writing text messages or emails while driving. Distracted driving laws also prohibit wearing headphones while driving.
Most drivers who were cited were in their 20s, and 69 percent of all cited drivers were male.
On Tuesday, AAA launched a new campaign titled “Are You ‘Intexticated?’” It’s a new initiative to reduce deadly distracted driving.
“The more dangerous thing about driving ‘intexticated’ or distracted driving is that its understated because everyone won’t admit that they’re distracted if they cause an accident so the problem may be bigger than we’re aware of,” said Herman Jenkins, AAA Director of Public Affairs.
Jenkins said drivers using cell phones to text or surf the internet are two to eight times more likely to be involved in a crash. He said the purpose of AAA’s latest campaign is to raise awareness.
“We really want people to make a commitment,” said Jenkins. “Make a commitment to your family, yourself, your family and friends- that you’re not going to drive while texting. Put the cell phone away. If you have to make a call pull over to the side of the road and remember these actions are just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.”