Pay Attention, New York! Your Safety Depends on It…

For as long as vehicles have been traveling our roads, drivers have been tempted by distraction. It’s a danger to which we are all susceptible. Spending any amount of time in one seat can cause complacency, and as people grow increasingly comfortable behind the wheel, they too often allow themselves to succumb to diversion. But distracted driving is not an acceptable cure for road-borne boredom.

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If you or a loved one has been injured because of a distracted driver and you wish to speak to one of our NYC distracted driving attorneys, please fill out our online form or call our New York office at (212) 563-1900, or our Long Island office at (516) 399-2364.

To learn more about distraction behind the wheel, here are some facts that all drivers should know…

Distracted Driving – By the Numbers

  • 8 deaths occur every day in the United States due to distracted driving.
  • 1,161 injuries occur every day in the United States due to distracted drivers.
  • 60 percent of teen vehicle crashes involve distracted driving
  • 70 percent of teens report using mobile apps while driving.
  • Over 50 percent of parents admitted to checking a mobile device while driving.
  • 600 percent – Your chances of being involved in a crash increase by six times while sending just one text.

Study after study shows that distracted drivers are an urgent danger to people everywhere, and yet for all the attention paid to drunk driving, we hear comparatively little about distracted driving. As texting has emerged as an increasingly popular mode of communication, we’ve seen an explosion in the rate of distracted driving in New York. Fortunately, there has been some effort among influencers and policymakers to push back against the deadly habit of texting behind the wheel. But we should be careful about focusing too much on texting alone.

Kaplan Can Help Injured Victims of Distracted Driving

Any kind of distraction can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver — or if you’ve lost a loved one because of another driver’s careless diversions — you deserve financial compensation. The NYC distracted driving attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC are determined to achieve the maximum potential recovery for victims of distracted driving in New York. We understand that the real cost of an injury extends far beyond the costs of immediate medical care, and we’ll leave no stone unturned in getting you the justice you deserve.

What Are Examples of Distracted Driving Other Than Texting?

We go into great detail about the dangers of texting while driving elsewhere on our website, so let’s take a moment now to consider other common forms of distracted driving. We might divide those into two categories: (1) those involving a cell phone or mobile device and (2) more traditional forms of distracted driving.

Cell Phone-Related Distracted Driving (Other Than Texting):

  • Dialing phone numbers
  • Talking on the phone
  • Reading or sending email
  • Navigating with a GPS program
  • Posting to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or other social media platforms
  • Playing games
  • Surfing the web
  • Searching for songs or playlists on an iPod or other music player
  • Watching YouTube (or other videos)
  • Taking pictures or browsing a photo library
  • Recording or live-streaming video or audio
  • Reading eBooks
  • Online shopping (ecommerce)
  • Checking traffic or the weather.

Believe it or not, people do all that and more on their phones while driving — and with surprising frequency. But distracted driving isn’t just limited to the things we do on our mobile devices. Many other activities, ones that we have all seen other drivers do, can also be a form of distracted driving…

Distraction Beyond Mobile Devices:

  • Talking to passengers
  • Attending to children in the backseat
  • Rubbernecking (including reading billboards)
  • Reading books or writing
  • Adjusting the radio / playing music
  • Eating and/or drinking (even nonalcoholic beverages)
  • Looking at yourself in car mirrors
  • Grooming / adjusting hair, lipstick, makeup, etc.
  • Changing clothes or removing garments while driving
  • Studying a map
  • Using an external GPS console
  • Reaching for something in another seat
  • Reaching for something that the driver accidentally dropped
  • Operating interior lights or an in-car TV system.

These are just a few examples of the many kinds of irresponsible driving in New York. If you’ve been injured in a collision with a distracted driver, you should contact the New York distracted driving lawyers at Kaplan Lawyers PC as soon as possible.

How Distraction Impacts Driving Performance

  • After performing a simple task, such as selecting a song or ending a phone call, a driver’s focus is impaired for up to 27 seconds.
  • The brain’s ability to process moving images is reduced by one-third of its capacity while speaking on the phone.
  • Sending just one text takes a driver’s attention off the road for an average of five seconds, enough time to travel the entire length of a football field when traveling at 55 miles per hour.

What Do New York’s Laws Say About Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel?

New York is one of 46 states that have banned texting while driving. The maximum fine for cell phone use or texting is $50 to $200 for a first offense, $50 to $250 for a second offense within 18 months, and $50 to $450 for a third offense.

New York law also bans the use of portable electronic devices while behind the wheel, though not the use of hands-free devices or GPS devices attached to the vehicle. A violation will cost drivers five driver violation points. Conviction of a violation for those with learner’s permits will result in a 120-day driver license or permit suspension, for the first offense. Additional offenses can lead to the revocation of a license or permit of at least one year.

Distraction is Negligence – And Victims of Negligence Have Options

A negligent driver is one who is careless or makes mistakes behind the wheel, often causing another person serious injury in the process. It’s clear from the data above that a distracted driver is a negligent driver. Distracted drivers’ victims suffer terrible injuries and financial challenges after they are struck by a negligent driver.

A victim can file a personal injury claim to win payment for the damages they have suffered, including pain, medical costs and loss of time from work. These claims provide a victim the opportunity to receive payment from negligent drivers and their insurance companies so they don’t have to shoulder the costs of another driver’s mistakes.

Distracted Driving in New York

Free Consultation: New York City Distracted Driving Attorneys

To schedule a free consultation with the New York City Distracted Driving Attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC, please contact our office as soon as possible. We will not charge for our services unless and until there is a financial recovery in your case. Remember that a time limit may apply to your claim, so you should act quickly. Contact us today to learn more.

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]

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