Despite the many warnings from experts and law enforcement, people continue to drive while distracted. In fact, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, distracted driving is the top contributing factor for motor vehicle accidents in New York.
Any time a driver fails to give their full attention to the road, they are engaging in distracted driving. According to the NHTSA, driver inattention includes engaging in tasks other than driving, driving while drowsy, failing to pay attention to the road, and looking away from the road in a non-specific way.
Under New York driving laws, it is illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while driving, unless it is an emergency. However, distracted driving goes beyond just the use of cell phones. Other common forms of distracted driving also include:
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Retrieving items from the backseat
- Adjusting the heat/AC, radio, or other vehicle settings.
- Using a GPS/navigation system
Drivers caught breaking the law will owe fines and will have points added to their DMV driving record. However, if a driver causes an accident, they may also be held civilly liable for the accident if a victim decides to bring a claim for negligence against them.
Filing a negligence claim against a distracted driver
Distracted driving in any form is considered a form of driver negligence. If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses. Witness testimony, expert testimony, the police report detailing the accident, and medical and employment records can be used to establish that the distracted driver’s negligence caused your accident and resulting damages. Your personal injury attorney can help prove your case and help you receive the financial support you need after your accident.