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New York City Distracted Driving Incidents: The Dangers and Your Rights

December 18, 2020 in

You do not have to be from New York to know that operating a vehicle in the city can be hectic and stressful; the volume of vehicles navigating the city grid, and pushing the limits of the rules of the road, are enough to cause accidents to begin with. Add in those drivers who are busy texting, eating, drinking or on a call, and the risk of a collision occurring is heightened exponentially. Below is an overview of startling distracted driving statistics, a brief analysis of New York cell phone laws and what steps you can take to receive just compensation as an accident victim. 

A Statistical Overview of New York Distracted Driving 

According to the NYPD’s recent crash data that records a breakdown of city-wide traffic accidents monthly, there were 9,487 motor vehicle collisions in just October 2020 alone. Of this total, 2,718 collisions were due to “Driver Inattention/Distraction.” According to the New York State Police, accidents caused by distracted driving have been steadily increasing, and the Driver Inattention/Distraction category is by far the leading category in both property damage and personal injury crashes. As of December 6, 2020, there have been 224 fatalities citywide in the year 2020. According to the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved the driver looking away from the forward roadway just prior to the crash. 

Distracted driving behavior falls under three categories: visual, manual and cognitive distractions. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, such as fiddling with the radio or rearview mirror, texting while driving, applying makeup or observing scenery or billboards outside the vehicle. Manual distractions take your hands off the steering wheel, such as searching for other items in the car, eating or drinking while driving, or reaching behind you for something in the backseat. Lastly, cognitive distractions occur when you lose focus of the road and of operating your vehicle. This can include daydreaming, singing along to music, talking to your passengers or even exhibiting frustration with another driver, thus committing road rage. All three of these categories of distracted driving are dangerous and can lead to motor vehicle collisions, especially in a crowded and bustling location like New York City.

Operating Portable Electronics or Using a Handheld Cellular While Driving is Illegal in New York

Enacted in 2001, New York State’s handheld cellular law was the first of its kind to be established in the nation. According to the New York State Police, the use of a hand-held cellular device to engage in a call while driving is prohibited, pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225c. Additionally, violators can be fined up to $200. Exceptions include operating an emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties, using a hands-free mobile device such as Bluetooth, and using a cellular device to report an emergency to the police or fire department. Illegally using a portable device while driving to play games, text, answer emails, browse the web, and more can result in a violation of up to $200 for the first offense and 5 driver penalty points. 

Your Rights as a New York Car Accident Victim

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in New York, you may be eligible to pursue claims against the perpetrator of the accident, especially if they were distracted, inattentive or acting recklessly when the accident occurred. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to conduct an investigation into the crash, collect needed evidence, build a strong case to prove that you were not at fault and ensure the perpetrator is proven to be at fault. A skilled car accident attorney will also negotiate with the insurance companies involved in the matter and ensure their client receives the maximum compensation possible for their injuries. If you were injured in a distracted driving incident where you were not at fault, you have the right to an experienced lawyer who can fight for the compensation you deserve. Learn more about how to navigate the aftermath of a New York car accident.

Consult a New York Car Accident Attorney at SPBMCC If You Were Injured in a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a New York City auto accident, the event can be overwhelming and even traumatic, which is why you need to know the legal avenues you can take as a victim. The lack of awareness to one’s surroundings that accompanies distracted driving, compounded with the everyday threats of fast-paced, traffic-heavy New York City streets, acts as a danger to other drivers, pedestrians and oneself. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car accident in New York where the other driver was acting recklessly, distracted or under the influence, you may have a case. Consult the legal team at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. to get in touch with a New York car accident attorney who can evaluate your claim. Call (212)-732-9000 or contact us here: https://www.triallaw1.com/contact/.

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