Distracted Driving on New York RoadsCentral New York Legal News
Did you know that distracted driving took over 3,000 lives in America in the year 2017 alone? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” It is not, contrary to popular opinion, just texting and driving.
When someone partakes in distracted driving, they are acting negligently and should be held liable for their irresponsibility. How does this affect New York roads? Read on to find out more.
Types of Distracted Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies distraction into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive. A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road. A manual distraction is anything that takes your hands off the wheel. A cognitive distraction is anything that takes your focus off driving. What makes texting while driving so dangerous is that it combines all three types of distraction. By taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while going 55 mph, you are effectively driving blindfolded down the length of a football field.
At-Risk Groups for Distracted Driving
Young adult and teen drivers are most at-risk for “driving while distracted,” with drivers under 20 years old making up the majority of fatal distraction-related crashes. The CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) also found that 42 percent of polled high school students reported driving while responding to a text or email in the past 30 days. These students were also more likely to drink and drive, more likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking, and also less likely to wear a seatbelt. If you know a young driver, you can help nip such risky behavior in the bud by educating them about the seriousness of these infractions.
Distracted Driving and New York Law
In the state of New York, it is prohibited to use a cellphone while behind the wheel. Violating this law may bring about a citation with a fine of up to $150. The offending driver will also be issued 2 points on their driver’s license and driving record. However, exceptions may apply in the case of an emergency.
Preventing Distracted Driving
The best way to prevent distracted driving is to clear your vehicle of any distractions before getting behind the wheel. This may mean ending phone calls, finishing meals, or even taking naps before driving. Remember that the car is not a place for multitasking. If you find yourself tempted to use your phone while behind the wheel, consider stowing it out of reach before you begin driving.
Seeking Legal Help
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a car accident? We at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced New York auto accident attorneys. We draw on over 50 years of combined legal experience to serve personal injury victims as best we can. We proudly serve the Central New York area, including Fayetteville, Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, North Syracuse, Camillus, Liverpool, Cortland, and Auburn.