Everyone, it seems, is plugged into a cell phone or tablet, texting, talking and surfing the web. Yet when misused, the convenience of ubiquitous communication quickly can become a menace, particularly if a driver decides to use a handheld device to talk or text while driving.
Statistics on all distracted driving accidents are suspected to be lower than figures because often, in a single-car crash, for example, there is no evidence of distraction in the wreckage.
In August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that, one year after enactment, New York’s tough new anti-texting and driving laws had resulted in 20,000 tickets, a four-fold increase. That is evidence of how serious a problem distracted driving can be — and how serious the state considers the problem.
Statistics are unnerving:
- A person using a cell phone is as impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol content of .08.
- A person texting is as impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol content of .16.
- A driver using a cell phone is a half-second slower to the brakes and misses half the visual cues seen by other drivers.
In Texas, a driver was seriously injured when he drove off an embankment while texting.
A New Jersey couple recently won a settlement of $500,000 after they were hit by a driver who’d become distracted while texting. The driver in that accident was reportedly steering with his elbows when the accident occurred.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and you believe a distracted driver was involved, find a skilled motor vehicle accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of New York personal injury law.