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Will distracted driving laws adapt to changing technology?

Pennsylvania law addresses distracted driving. Specifically, drivers who are caught texting behind the wheel can face penalties. Although using smartphones behind the wheel certainly creates a risk for car accidents and will continue to be a concern, some are wondering whether the law needs to keep pace with changes in mobile technology.

This question comes to the forefront in a case that's ongoing in California. A woman was ticketed for driving and wearing Google Glass, an emerging mobile technology that integrates computer functionality into a pair of eyeglasses.

At this point, state laws don't specifically ban the use of wearable mobile technology behind the wheel. However, three states are weighing legislation to address this concern. In the California case, the woman is contesting the citation on the basis that the statute she was charged under doesn't cover wearable mobile devices.

At this point in time, Google Glass isn't widely available to all consumers. Knowing this, laws to address this type of technology are considered to be proactive in nature.

While driving, a motorist's top priority should be paying attention to his or her surroundings. Permitting potentially distracting behaviors -- such as the use of Google Glass -- could create danger for other drivers. As such, many may be wondering if Pennsylvania lawmakers will address this issue soon.

As this type of technology grows in availability and popularity, drivers will want to be aware of the potential for new distractions. The hope is that motorists will maintain their responsibility to act with caution. However, accidents will still happen as the result of distracted driving, so victims should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under Pennsylvania's personal injury laws.

Source: USA Today, "Woman fights ticket for driving with Google Glass," Dec. 4, 2013

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