In Need of a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in New York City?
Distracted driving has always been a danger in New York City. However, it has become an even bigger concern in recent years as a result of the increase in cell phone use and texting. If you have been injured recently, you may need a New York City distracted driving accident lawyer.
Each year, thousands of people are injured and killed across the nation as a result of distracted driving. Many of the accidents that cause those injuries take place in New York City and the surrounding areas. The car accident lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you get the compensation you deserve if a distracted driver has harmed you.
We offer a no-cost initial evaluation of your claim, and our attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive full maximum compensation in accordance with the law. Call 212-279-2000 today or fill out our online contact form.
Forms of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can be defined in many ways. According to the U.S. government, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.”
Distracted driving is hardly a new danger. As long as there have been cars, there have been distractions that cause crashes. Until the end of the 20th century, common distractions included:
- Talking to passengers in the vehicle
- Tending to children or pets in the vehicle
- Looking at another accident, or “rubber-necking”
- Changing the radio station
While all of these traditional distractions are still problems, a more dangerous practice has taken the lead as the most common cause of a distracted driving accident in recent years – handheld electronic devices.
The use of cell phones has increased exponentially over the last 20 years. In addition, other electronic devices such as GPS navigation systems, tablet computers and portable entertainment systems have become common in cars. These electronic devices are the primary reason why the number of distracted driving accidents each year has seen a steady increase.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
As of 2013, 41 states, along with the District of Columbia, ban text messaging while driving. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the use of a handheld cell phone while driving. New York is among the states that have banned both text messaging and the use of handheld cell phones while driving.
Studies have shown that it takes the average person approximately 4.6 seconds to send or receive a text message. To put that number in perspective, that is about the amount of time it takes to drive the length of a football field while traveling at highway speeds.
To illustrate the dangers of distracted driving, as well as how prevalent distracted driving collisions are, consider some of the following statistics:
- In 2011, at least 23 percent of all collisions involved cell phone use.
- Over 1 million collisions in 2011 involved the use of a cell phone.
- Over 3,000 people were killed by a distracted driver in 2011.
- Almost 400,000 people were injured in a distracted driving accident in 2011.
- Texting while driving increases the crash risk 23 times.
- Dialing a cell phone triples the crash risk.
- At any given moment, 660,000 drivers are using a handheld electronic device.
- Half of all 16- to 17-year-old drivers admit to talking on a cell phone while driving.
- One in three 16- to 17-year-old drivers admits to texting while driving.
- One in five drivers admits to surfing the web while driving.
What Has The Government Done About Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving has been a public safety issue for more than 20 years.
The NHTSA released its first comprehensive report about the increase in distracted driving, “An Investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles,” in 1997.
A 2006 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) showed that drivers engaging in visually and/or manually complex tasks, such as texting, are three times more likely to crash or have a “near-crash” incident than drivers who are not distracted.
The often-repeated comparison of texting while driving and driving the length of a football field blindfolded dates to a 2009 study of distracted driving in the trucking industry.
A 2010 study that examined trends in distracted driving fatalities and their relation to cell phone use and texting found that, “Distracted driving is a growing public safety hazard. Specifically, the dramatic rise in texting volume since 2005 appeared to be contributing to an alarming rise in distracted driving fatalities.”
In 2001, New York instituted the first ban on using handheld cell phones while driving.
Since then New York has:
- Prohibited texting while driving in 2009.
- Made texting while driving a primary offense and increased the number of driver license points for a conviction from 2 to 3 in 2011, and then from 3 to 5 for offenses committed on or after June 1, 2013.
As late as 2014 (the last year for which statistics were published), driver inattention or distraction was a factor in 19.1% of all crashes and 10.4% of all fatal crashes in New York, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Today, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico ban text messaging by drivers. Thirty-nine states and Washington, D.C., ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, while 18 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have joined New York in prohibiting all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
A January 2019 NHTSA report shows a peak of 6.2% of drivers using handheld cell phones in 2007 and rates falling almost yearly since.
However, if the use of hands-free phones is considered, NHTSA says a total of 5.3% of drivers are estimated to have been using either a handheld or hands-free cell phone while driving at any typical daylight moment in the U.S. in 2017.
Distracted Driving Tips for Drivers and Passengers
In the end, it is up to each of us to eliminate the threat of distracted driving. The NY Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee offers several tips to help drivers and motor vehicle passengers avoid driver distractions. They include:
- Do not use your cell phone or any electronic device while driving. If there is an emergency, pull off of the road or into a “Texting Zone” before using your phone.
- Avoid arguments and stressful or emotional conversations with passengers.
- Avoid eating or grooming while driving.
- Be sure children are properly and safely restrained.
- Properly secure pets in a pet carrier or portable kennel.
- Don’t create distractions for the driver.
- Offer to navigate for the driver.
- If you are a passenger in a car with a distracted driver, say something. Do not tolerate distracted driving.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver in New York City? Contact Our Injury Lawyers Today
The New York City car accident lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are experienced at investigating and analyzing car accident cases to look for contributing factors such as distracted driving. Even if the other driver was not charged with violating the cell phone or texting ban, evidence of distracted driving could still be decisive in determining fault. If another driver involved in the accident was driving while distracted, this may lead to a finding of negligence, which may then entitle you to compensation for your serious personal injuries.
If you have been injured in a New York City car accident and you believe that distracted driving played a role in the accident, contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., today. Our distracted driving car accident attorneys can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
We offer a free initial evaluation of your claim. Rest assured that our New York City personal injury attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available under the law. Call 212-279-2000 today or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.