The Dangers of Texting and Driving in New York

Lever & Ecker, PLLC June 1, 2017 Car Accidents

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found that drivers who take their attention away from the road for just two seconds double their risk of getting into an accident, and those who are engaged in a “secondary task,” such as texting and driving or talking on their cell phones, increase their odds of getting in an accident 2-3 times. In fact, 1 out every 4 car accidents that happen in the US are caused by someone who was texting and driving.

Further, some studies have shown that a driver who is texting is six times more likely to cause an accident than one who has been drinking and driving. Remarkably, one out of every four car accidents in the US today is directly attributable to texting and driving, and the number of tickets issued for distracted driving has increased exponentially in recent years.

Given these issues, it is clear that motorists and pedestrians face substantial danger and risk of injury from distracted drivers.

Measures to Stop Texting and Driving in New York

In 2013, the State of New York toughened its already strict cell phone law, making it a five-point violation to use a cell phone without a hands-free device. This violation carries the same number of points as for improperly passing a school bus and driving recklessly.

To enforce this law, many police departments around the state now use unmarked SUV’s to catch people in the act. In addition, to address the role of cell phones in accidents, police officers have begun using a new device called the “textalyzer,” which detects whether a driver was using his or her phone at the time of the accident, and therefore assists in assessing fault in such an accident.

The state has also rolled out new highway signs, to remind drivers of the dangers of texting and driving, and of the consequences, although there is debate as to whether these signs are effective.

Types of Distracted Driving

While texting and driving earns most of the press these days, and deservedly so, there is no shortage of other types of distracted driving, each of which can also be the cause of an accident. This includes:

  • Personal distractions caused by the driver, such as daydreaming, being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, reading, writing, using electronics(not just phones), and putting on makeup.
  • Internal distractions within the car, such as, pets, noisy passengers, etc.
  • External distractions that happen outside of the vehicle, such as other vehicles, weather, and scenery.

White Plains Car Accident Attorney

In a matter of seconds, a person’s life can be changed forever by a person who has been texting and driving, or who has otherwise been distracted from the road. It is important to understand your legal rights in the event car accident. If you or someone around you sustains a personal injury due to the negligence of a distracted driver, please do not hesitate to contact us at Lever & Ecker, PLLC , so that we can discuss providing you legal assistance and representation for your injuries.