We've all seen them - drivers speeding down the highway while applying makeup, adjusting GPS, reading the paper - and, most often, staring at their handheld cellphones.
Distracted driving is on the rise and, unfortunately, the statistics bear out the dangers of driving with any type of distraction. The New York Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research reported that 160 people were killed in vehicle accidents attributed to distracted driving in 2015, with more than 33,000 others injured. Deaths across the U.S. totaled nearly 3,500.
Texting While Driving Distracts the Driver in 3 Ways
Of all driver distractions, the worst by far is texting on a smartphone or other portable electronic device.
Texting distracts the driver in 3 ways:
· Manually, because at least one hand is off the wheel,
· Visually as you are staring at the screen, and
· Cognitively, as you focus on reading or tapping a text instead of the road.
This is a recipe for disaster. In fact, with an average text taking 5 seconds to read, a driver moving at 55 mph can travel the length of a football field while reading a text - without once looking at the road!
New York Law Prohibits Texting While Driving
Our state's laws prohibit holding a portable electronic device to talk; browse the internet; read or send text messages or email; view, take or transmit selfies and other images; play games.
A driver may, however, use a hands-free mobile telephone to make or receive calls, or may use a device that is attached to the vehicle surface for calls or for GPS monitoring.
These laws are primary, meaning that an officer can stop you for using a handheld device. Penalties are stiff with 5 driver violation points and fines as high as $450.
Be a Good Role Model for Your Teen Driver
Studies show that texting while driving is almost as risky as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Distracted drivers experience a 35% decline in reaction time. It's just not possible to multitask and safely operate a moving vehicle.
Parents, put your phones away! Coach your teenage driver to turn off the phone when driving or put it safely away in the back seat or glove compartment.
Let Us Know If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.