What behaviors constitute distracted driving?

Many people are not aware what distracted driving is in Pennsylvania.

The definition of distracted driving in Pennsylvania involves anything that causes a driver to either remove their hands from the steering wheel, take their eyes off the road or pull the driver’s attention away from driving. By that definition, distracted driving can be any action that results in the driver losing control of their vehicle and results in a crash.

While the most recognized definition of distracted driving relates to using a cellphone while behind the wheel, it can also involve things such as:

  • Eating —Eating or grabbing food that fell into the driver’s lap.
  • Drinking – Drinking, or picking up a drink that has tipped over or fallen on the floor.
  • Smoking — Smoking or butting the cigarette in an ashtray, brushing at a cinder that landed on clothing, trying to find one that has fallen out of the ashtray onto the floor or lighting a cigarette.
  • Adjusting e-devices — Trying to find a radio station, loading or changing a CD player.
  • Talking with other passengers — This is major problem for teens and new drivers as it causes the driver to pay attention to the conversation and not the traffic and the surroundings.
  • Disciplining kids — May include the driver trying to reach into the backseat to settle the children.
  • Dealing with loose animals — Driving with loose animal can be very difficult as it moves around the vehicle.
  • Searching for objects
  • Reading or writing while driving
  • Grooming — Brushing hair or putting on makeup
  • Rubbernecking — Looking over at a scene of an accident or while driving through a work-in-progress zone.
  • People watching—Anything happening off of the road, like events or gatherings.
  • Cellphone use — Texting, talking, emailing, watching videos, updating social media.

Other Distracted Driving FAQs: