Long Island Distracted Driving Accidents

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Most people know distracted driving is dangerous, however, it is quickly becoming a major culprit for traffic accidents across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it killed 3,477 people in 2015 alone.

While many of us associate the use of cell phones with distracted driving, any activity that requires a driver’s attention is considered distracting. If you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you must always devote your full attention to it. Failing to do so risks not only your own life but the lives of your passengers or others on the road.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers are people operating a vehicle and participating in anything that diverts attention away from the activity of driving and can include a number of different things.

Most common causes of distracted driving include:

Grooming or applying makeup: Perhaps you did not have enough time to put the finishing touches on your appearance and need just a few more things to look polished, but this is not something you should be addressing while driving. However, too many continue to comb their hair or apply lipstick while driving, taking their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. If you really want to look your best, take those few extra minutes to do so while you are still at home.

Having conversations with passengers: It might feel rude to not converse with passengers riding with you, but talking to passengers while you are driving is actually incredibly distracting. You cannot have your full attention on driving while you are engaging in a conversation and possibly taking glances at your passengers while they speak. The polite thing to do is to not jeopardize anyone’s safety and save conversations for later.

Not looking at the road: There are a number of reasons why drivers might divert their eyes from the road, including landmarks or an accident on the side of the road. It is important to remember that taking your eyes off the road, even for a second, is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to an accident.

Dealing with children or pets: Attempting to handle children or pets while you are driving puts everyone in the vehicle in danger. Never drive with a pet loose in your vehicle. Instead, keep them in a pet carrier. Create a set of rules that your children are to follow when riding in the vehicle and do not attempt to discipline them while you are driving. If something absolutely must be addressed, pull to a safe area and take care of it before you resume driving.

Zoning out: Sometimes the most distracting thing on the road is our own mind. Going on autopilot, however, is dangerous and can keep you from noticing obstacles on the road or from being aware of your surroundings, putting you at a high risk of having an accident.

This list is just scratching the surface of the different types of distractions drivers face day-in and day-out. Other types of distractions may include eating and drinking, cellphone use, fiddling with the entertainment system, setting the navigation system, playing games, and so on and so forth.

New York Laws

The state of New York passed mobile phone and portable electronic device laws designed to save lives. It prohibits all people from using mobile electronic devices. The only exception is when the driver uses a hands-free device or uses a device attached to the vehicle. Likewise, people can call in an emergency using 911 without being penalized under the law.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distraction can come in many forms. Personal distractions, those caused by the driver, are the most obvious. However, there are also internal distractions, caused by people, animals, or objects inside the car, and external distractions. External distractions are the hardest to predict and prevent because they include other motorists, inclement weather, terrible road conditions, or even scenery.

According to an NHTSA report in 2006, driver distraction was the primary contributing factor to crashes and near crashes. Almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near crashes in the study involved the driver looking away from the roadway just prior to the collision.

Contact an Experienced Advocate Today

Distracted driving is an irresponsible activity, particularly if it could have been prevented through consideration of other drivers. If you’ve sustained injuries as the result of an automobile accident caused by a distracted driver, you shouldn’t have to pay for medical costs or any lost wages. Contact our experienced Long Island personal injury attorneys at Gruenberg Kelly Della.

We are devoted to helping victims of injuries get just compensation for their pain and suffering. We provide zealous and compassionate representation from initial investigation and evidence compiling to final negotiations or litigation in court. We also offer personal attention to every client that we help. Our attorneys want you to feel like you are taken care of by friends from start to finish. Let us do your case justice and fight on your behalf. We look forward to hearing from you.

Get your case started by calling us or filling out our online form today. We offer free case evaluations.