Long Island Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Between 2011 and 2016, the number of citations issued in New York for texting while driving increased by 918%. Over 30,000 people were injured and 160 killed due to distracted driving in New York in 2015. Distracted driving was a factor in more than 20% of all injury car accidents that year. Two years later, Governor Cuomo implemented a statewide crackdown (Operation Hang Up) during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, issuing more than 2,000 tickets for distracted driving in one month alone.
Carmakers and app makers talk about limiting access to phones while the car is in motion, and many States have implemented stringent laws and public awareness safety campaigns, but distracted driving continues to rise. Once thought responsible for about a third of all auto accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently declared distracted driving to be the number one factor contributing to car accidents. A recent NHTSA study found the driver’s attention was turned away from the road in the seconds before an accident in 80% of the crashes studied.
Distracted drivers can and should be held accountable for the harm they inflict when their texting and driving, handheld cell phone use or other distracting behaviors cause a crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving car accident in Nassau County, Long Island or New York City, call Giuffré Law Offices in Garden City/Stewart Manor, Brooklyn or Queens for a free consultation. Our experienced Long Island distracted driving lawyers can help you today.
New York prohibits texting while driving, handheld cellphone use
In New York, it’s illegal to text while driving or use a handheld electronic device while driving. Penalties for violating the law include fines from $50 to $200 for a first offense, with fines potentially increasing to $250 or $450 for a second or third offense within 18 months of the first offense. For probationary and junior drivers, violating the law can lead to a 120-day of their driver’s license or learner’s permit on a first offense, or a one-year revocation for a second offense within six months of the first citation.
Distracted driving comes in many forms
Distracted driving can involve more than texting while driving or using a handheld cellphone. Activities such as eating, putting on makeup, shaving or grooming, looking at a map or reading, or even getting too involved in a conversation with passengers can distract a driver from the critical task of driving. Safety researchers classify driving distractions into three categories: visual, manual and cognitive.
Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, whether to read a text, look at a map, or engage with someone in the back seat.
Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel, whether to eat, send a text, place a call, program your GPS, or pick something up from the floor of the vehicle.
Cognitive distractions mean your mind has been taken away from the task of driving, whether by talking on the phone, conversing with passengers, daydreaming, or checking in on your social media.
As may be obvious, many distracting activities involve two or all three categories of distraction in one action. Texting while driving is an example of a behavior that includes all three types of distraction, which is why it is so dangerous to the driver and others on the road. Taking your attention off the road for five seconds on the highway is enough time to cover the length of a football field and get into a serious accident. Even after the distracting behavior is finished, it can still take several minutes to return full focus to the road, depending on how involved you were in the activity.
An experienced Long Island auto accident lawyer can help prove distracted driving
As an experienced New York auto accident law firm, we know how to investigate a crash and determine whether distracted driving played a role in causing the accident. We’ll interview witnesses, including occupants of both vehicles as well as others, request cell phone records and police reports, and investigate the crash scene with forensic experts to establish and prove how the accident occurred. Call Giuffré Law Offices in Long Island, Brooklyn or Queens after a distracted driving car accident in Nassau County, Long Island and throughout New York City. Call us for a free consultation, and we’ll let you know what to expect regarding your New York auto accident claim.