Distracted Driving Accidents in NYC
Driving a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility. Most people can easily forget the importance of safe driving when they are busy with their daily tasks. These tasks may include taking their kids to school, going to the office, or traveling to any other destination.
That is the reason #1 of distracted driving accidents, driver inattention is defined as one of the following:
- Driver engagement in secondary tasks
- Driver drowsiness
- Driving-related inattention to the forward roadway
- Non-specific eye glances away from the forward roadway
It only takes 1 second of distraction to provoke a crash that may change lives. Nowadays, technology and social media have made cell phone use the most frequent form of distraction while driving. This includes making calls, scrolling through social media, and texting.
There are many tasks that require immediate attention. Your primary concern should be on healing from your injuries.
Most Common Driving Distractions
The month of April has become “Distracted driving awareness month”. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee promotes safety messages throughout the month. They do this via press events, public service announcements, and social media posts.
Let’s discover what are the different types of driving distractions.
The driver’s vision is essential when driving a motor vehicle. They must remain focused on the road at all times. Anything can happen and an evasive maneuver can save their lives if they are paying attention.
Cognitive distractions refer to mental activities that divert a driver’s attention and focus away from the task of driving. An example of a cognitive distraction is when you are driving and suddenly you start thinking about other people, that task in the office that was not completed, or the mess that your dog did in the living room.
It is true that while driving, your eyes may be on the road, but your mind can be elsewhere. This can affect a driver’s ability to process information, make decisions, and respond quickly to potential dangers.
Control the vehicle by using both hands on the steering wheel. Place your hands at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions, or slightly higher at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. This will keep your mind in the driving action and help you maintain a safe sight.
This hand placement allows for optimal control and maneuverability while keeping your hands within the airbag deployment zone. Keep your hands on the wheel. Do not reach for objects, smoke, or groom while driving. Do not do anything that requires your hands to leave the wheel.
Causes of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can have many causes. People may not even be aware they are engaging in an activity that could lead to distracted driving. Let’s dive in.
Next time, you’ll be aware of the following situations. You’ll be amazed when you recognize yourself in one of them.
Texting on the phone
It is tempting to check your phone while driving. However, if your goal is to make it alive to your destination without harming anyone, it is best to avoid it.
Talking over the phone
Before driving your car, it is advisable to turn on airplane mode on your cell phone. This prevents you from receiving notifications until you reach your destination.
Crash scene accidents
Have you ever passed by an accident and could not help but see how wrecked the car is? Well, guess what, you are increasing the chances to provoke another crash just next to the first one.
Talking or having conversations with passengers while driving is a form of cognitive distraction. Receiving shocking information can take your eyes off the road, which is extremely dangerous.
Another cognitive distraction is allowing the mind to wander or engage in deep thoughts unrelated to driving.
People should read and stay away from TV more often. Would you do this when you are at home or not driving? Reading while driving could lead you directly to a distracted driving accident.
Texting And Driving Laws in NY
Even though there were statistics that showed how dangerous these distractions are, was not until 2001 that New York became the first state in the nation to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving.
Then, 8 years later further legislation was enacted prohibiting texting while driving.
The prohibition from the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law also extends to the use of portable electronic devices while driving.
However, in 2017 Governor Cuomo established a statewide crackdown on distracted driving, called Operation Hang Up.
Law enforcement conducted special patrols and checkpoints to crack down on distracted driving. This resulted in more than 16,000 tickets, with 2,000 of them being for distracted driving.
Penalties for Texting and Driving
After November 2014, if someone is caught by the authorities using their cell phone or texting while driving and it’s their first offense, their driver’s license or permit will be suspended for 120 days.
If someone gets their license or permit back after a suspension, they must avoid getting caught again within six months. Otherwise, they will face more serious consequences.
The consequences of not following the rules include having a probationary license taken away for at least one year. Another consequence is having a Class DJ or MJ driver’s license or learner permit revoked for at least one year.
Fines for violations committed on or after November 1, 2014
Restrictions for Motor Carriers and Commercial Vehicle Drivers
Since October 28, 2013, the following restrictions are effective:
- Motor carriers are not allowed to make drivers use cell phones or texting devices while driving. This includes both permitting and compelling them to do so.
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle and using a mobile telephone requires more than one button to dial or answer a call. This type of mobile telephone is not considered a “hands-free” device.
- Commercial vehicle drivers are prohibited from making phone calls or using texting devices while their vehicle is stopped. This includes stops due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays.
- If a commercial vehicle driver holds a mobile telephone to their ear or is in close proximity to it while the vehicle is temporarily stopped due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, it is assumed that they are engaged in a phone call.
- If a commercial vehicle driver holds an electronic device in an obvious way while the vehicle is temporarily stopped due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, it is assumed that they are using the device.
What To Do After A Distracted Driving Accident
Seek Medical Help
After a distracted driving accident, the first step is to assess your injuries. Do you feel any pain? are you able to reach your phone to make an emergency call? check yourself to find potential injuries and then ask for help.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
If you are seriously injured, it is wise to call a lawyer. Our distracted driving accident lawyers can help you at the crash site. They can conduct the necessary investigations and arrange for you to go to the hospital quickly.
Take pictures for evidence
If you are not seriously injured, while waiting for the police officers and paramedics, shoot some pictures of the scene. It is essential to have evidence beyond just the car. We should also include pictures of the street, pavement markings, nearby traffic signs, etc.
Witnesses’ contact information
Evidence that will be useful later is witness testimony. Ask any pedestrians who witnessed the accident for their contact information. Use this information to contact them and ask for help with the case.
Police report copy
A police officer will arrive at the scene. First, they will ensure the victims have received medical attention. Afterward, they will write a report of the accident. A copy of that report will be a piece of good evidence for your case.
The other driver’s insurance information
After you know they are ok, ask about their insurance and contact information.
Gather all expenses bills
All the medicine, hospital bills, or anything related to the distracted driving accident. These documents will help you determine the amount of money you need to cover for compensation.
Contact a Distracted Driving Lawyer in NYC
We are all humans. We know that a car accident may occur. Therefore, it is important to drive carefully. However, the odds are that we may get into a distracted driving accident at least once in our life.
If you have been in an accident involving distracted driving, don’t wait to seek help. Contact a New York accident attorney. We can assist you in recovering from the damages you suffered.
The Ward Law Group, PL has been serving the community for more than 10 years. We can provide you with the support you need in difficult times.