October 9

Avoid Distraction While Driving

distractiontDistracted driving is one of today fastest growing dangers on the road. Either due to driver negligence or outside factors, crashes are occurring because of inattention to the road. The CDC reports, “Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.”

Distracted driving is a major source of danger. The important thing to realize is that it is also the easiest hazard to avoid. New York State has joined other states throughout the nation in enforcing the ban of devices that cause distraction while driving.  There are many types of distractions on the road, and we have control over most of them.

Recognizing driving distractions and eliminating them should be everyone’s priority. There are different types of distractions , it is important to recognize them and to build a strategy around removing them.

Personal distractions are distractions that are caused by the driver. Examples of personal distractions would be daydreaming, the effects of drugs and alcohol, reading, writing, personal grooming, or the use of electronic devices such as cell phones.

Internal distractions are distractions that happen inside the car and are usually caused by other passengers, animals, or objects within the vehicle.

External distractions are distractions caused by factors outside the car, and include other motorists, weather, or even the scenery.

The NHTSA estimates that 80% of crashes in New York are caused by driver inattention. It should be no surprise to anyone that the most predominant form of distraction has become the use of cell phones and electronic devices. To fight this, the state legislature passed a cell phone law that should make it clear how severe this issue is.

New York State cell phone law prohibits the use any hand-held cellular phone while driving on any New York road. Violators will be issued a traffic violation which will carry a fine of up to $150. Additionally, 2 points will be added to the offender’s Drivers license and driving record.

The definitions of a handheld device in New York is very specific. According to New York law, a handheld device is defined as a cell phone, personal digital assistant, a laptop, pager, iPads, video game console, or any other portable computing or communications device. When you have any of these in your vehicle, you may not use them in any way. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

If the electronic device is built into the vehicle, the driver will not suffer any penalty. If a driver is seen using a dashboard computer or a handheld device that is attached to the car itself, it will not be grounds for citation. Examples of acceptable devices include, GPS devices, built-in mobile phones, built-in MP3 players, and the like. In-other-words, as long as the device is not being used in the drivers hand. In addition, the law will allow a driver to use their in-hand cell phone to report road emergencies, to contact their physician, or a hospital in the event of a personal emergency.

If you suffered a personal injury in New York caused by a distracted driver, it is important to seek a New York Personal Injury Lawyer immediately. New York Personal Injury attorneys at the firm of Pulvers Thompson have assisting clients for over 70 years. They can help ensure that your legal rights are protected. A New York Personal Injury attorney can help you recover fair compensation for lost wages, medical costs due to related injuries, long-term diminished quality of life, and loss of life compensation for immediate family.