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Posted By Gruenberg Kelly Della || 15-May-2020
Distracted driving is a highly dangerous behavior that can cause severe accidents and significant injuries. As the hazards of distracted driving have become increasingly apparent, state and local governments have enacted laws to curb the issue. In New York, a distracted driving offense can result in heavy fines and limited driving privileges.

Texting and Driving and Cell Phone Use Laws
Any use of handheld electronic devices while driving is prohibited in the state of New York. Drivers are only permitted to make calls or send text messages by using hands-free, voice-activated devices. All other activity that requires the use of a handheld cell phone or tablet is against the law, including making calls, sending and reading messages, taking pictures, looking at social media pages, and using navigation apps. There is an exception in the law that drivers may use a handheld device to contact the police, fire department, or medical personnel in the event of an emergency.

A person who violates these laws may face a minimum fine of $50. Maximum fines for distracted driving in New York are as follows:

    • $200 fine for a first offense
    • $250 fine for a second offense within 18 months of the last offense
    • $450 fine for a third offense or additional offenses within 18 months of the last offense

    Are Other Types of Distracted Driving Illegal in New York?
    Distracted driving is commonly associated with texting and driving and other cell phone use. However, anything that distracts you from the task of driving is distracted driving, whether or not a cell phone is used.

    Distracted driving behaviors that do not involve the use of a cell phone include:

    • Eating and drinking
    • Applying makeup
    • Adjusting the radio, air conditioning, and other controls
    • Speaking to passengers

    These behaviors are not explicitly labeled as legal in New York state law. However, they are dangerous and could be considered as reckless driving. It is still possible for a driver to receive a ticket for exhibiting one of the listed behaviors while driving.

    The Dangers of Distracted Driving
    Although cell phone use is the only type of distracted driving that is explicitly outlawed in the state of New York, all forms of distracted driving are dangerous. Driving distracted leaves you unable to respond to other drivers around you. It is one of the top causes of car accidents nationwide.

    Please contact our firm if you have been injured because of a distracted driver. The lawyers of Gruenberg Kelly Della are available to assist you with your legal questions concerning negligence and injury.

    If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident and you are interested in speaking with our legal team, send us a message or call (888) 305-6372 for a free consultation with our attorneys.