How many times have you had to slam on your brakes because of an oblivious, distracted driver? And how many times have you seen a driver almost cause a car crash – or actually crash – because they were on their phone? If your answer is “frequently,” you are not alone. Texting while driving remains a common, dangerous habit for many drivers in the Bronx and throughout New York.
Texting while driving is illegal in New York
Driving while texting is not only negligent, it is illegal. Under New York law, drivers are prohibited from using portable electronic devices such as mobile phones and smartphones while driving. Prohibited use includes:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Composing, sending, reading, accessing browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving emails, texts, or web pages
- Viewing, taking, or sending pictures or images
- Playing games
Violations of New York texting while driving laws may result in significant fines or even license suspension.
Statistics show texting and driving is a deadly activity
Texting while driving is illegal because it is dangerous for everyone, including other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Teens are particularly at risk for distracted driving in fatal accidents. Statistics show phones, tablets, smart watches, laptops, and other portable devices continue to pose a significant, deadly risk on the road, such as:
- 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017
- Distracted driving crashes resulted in 3,166 fatalities in 2017
- Approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving during the day
Despite the risks, studies suggest there were significant increases in headset use and use of handheld devices between 2015 and 2016.
Texting while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving
Although statistics prove that texting while driving is dangerous, few people take it as seriously as the dangers of drunk driving. A study by Car and Driver sought to prove that distracted driving is at least as dangerous as driving while intoxicated and the results are significant. In the study, two drivers took turns driving on a test track to observe their reaction times while sober, while using smartphones, and while intoxicated. The startling results show that texting may actually be even more dangerous than drunk driving. For example, test subject and editor and chief, Eddie Alterman, had his slowest reaction times when texting. His results include:
- An average reaction time of 0.57 seconds while driving 35mph increased to 0.64 seconds when driving intoxicated
- Texting while driving more than doubled his reaction time to 1.36 seconds
- Driving while intoxicated added 4 feet to his stopping distance when travelling at 70mph
- Reading emails while driving added 36 feet to his stopping distance
- Texting added a whopping extra 70 feet to his stopping distance
A personal injury attorney can help after a texting accident in New York
Texting while driving is negligent, dangerous, and even deadly. If you believe a driver was texting or distracted by a handheld device when you were seriously injured in an accident, an attorney can help you evaluate your claim and strengthen your case. To learn more about your options after a car accident in the Bronx or throughout New York, call The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn at 718-409-5500 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation. Se habla español.