districted driving ny

Over 400,000 people in the US get injured every year in car accidents because of distracted driving. Research has shown that 80% of the negligent drivers were distracted right before the car accident for at least 3 seconds. Anything that makes the driver to lose or dilute their focus while driving is a distraction.

You can understand your legal options following a car accident better by recognizing the signs of distracted driving. You should also consider speaking with a top-rated New York City personal injury attorney to learn more about distracted driving accidents and how it may impact your claim settlement.

Major Types of Distracted Driving in New York

1. Visual Distractions

Visual distractions involve taking the eyes off the road. This can be due to billboards, texting, rubbernecking, or glancing at the back seat. This type of distraction usually makes a driver lose focus on the road for an estimated 4.6 seconds on an average.

2. Auditory Distractions

Drivers can get distracted by sounds and noises inside the vehicle. For instance, the engine may make a weird sound causing the driver to focus on that. This means they may not be paying attention while driving. Crying baby and fighting kids in the backseat are examples of auditory distractions.

3. Manual Distractions

This type of distraction involves physically removing hands from the wheel. This can be while reaching for a sandwich or changing the radio station. The driver’s eyes may be on the road, but they have poor control over the vehicle. A major consequence of manual distraction is delayed response time.

4. Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions prevent the driver from being more mindful of their driving. For instance, talking on a hands-free while driving doesn’t allow the driver to fully pay attention even though they may have hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Dialing a cellphone involves a combination of cognitive, manual and visual distraction.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving in New York City

1. Cellular Devices

Cellular devices are one of the most common sources of distracted driving. A study by MIT showed that hands-free and hand-held phones led to equally poor performance among drivers. Texting is one of the major forms of distracted driving. A quarter of high-school students admitted to texting while driving. It can take up to 13 seconds for the brain to refocus after looking at the cellphone screen. As per the National Safety Council, every fourth accident is because of texting while driving.

2. Vehicle Displays

There is some type of touchscreen infotainment system or in-vehicle display in all modern vehicles. This may add to navigation and entertainment ease, but it also acts as a major source of distraction. As per studies, it can take drivers an average of 40 seconds to complete an action on these systems. This can have catastrophic consequences.

3. Children

It is a full-time job to be a parent. This doesn’t automatically end while driving. Most parents don’t answer a text while driving with children in the backseat. However, they wouldn’t think twice before glancing at the backseat or attending to their children. According to studies, children can be 12 times as distracting as compared to mobile phones.

It is easier said than done to not cater to children while driving. Paternal or maternal instincts can kick in quickly. However, parents can try and teach their children about road safety. They can also pass the snacks before getting on the road. It is best to have a caretaker along while driving children to keep an eye on them.

4. Eating

There is a tempting selection of quick snacks and fried foods at every truck stop. Most drivers indulge in eating while driving. This can increase chances of an accident by 80% as per a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every bite taken pulls the driver’s eyes away from the road for a few seconds. This is enough to get into a dangerous situation. The same NHTSA report showed that eating was the cause of 65% near-miss accidents.

5. Mirror Use and Grooming

Every vehicle has a pull-down mirror on the side of the driver. These are great for checking blemishes before pulling off to an important meeting. But, they can also prove to be a major source of driving distractedly. Applying makeup alone causes over 500,000 car accidents in a year. Fixing hair, shaving, and applying lip balm are distracting too.

6. Sleepiness or Daydreaming

77% car accidents happen within a 10-mile radius of the driver’s home. It is easy to daydream and drift off when familiar with surroundings. Everyone has daydreamed while driving at some point in their lives. It’s paramount to always pay attention to the road and to remain alert and active.

7. Adjusting Settings

There is a wide array of adjustable settings in modern cars. This includes air conditioning vents, buttons, mirrors, and seat adjustments among other things. It’s vital that drivers resist the temptation to find these while driving. Every adjustment requires removing hands from the steering wheel. This is a major cause for concern. Instead, it is recommended that drivers adjust their seats, fix mirror angles, and ensure an adequate temperature before pulling out of the driveway.

Driving Statistics Related to Texting

Texting is considered to be a highly dangerous type of distracted driving. The dangers of texting while driving is illustrated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the following statistics:

  • About 3,179 people were killed and an additional 431,000 injured because of distracted drivers leading to motor vehicle crash in a recent year.
  • Over 385 fatal crashes were reported to involve cell phones. This comprised of 13% fatal accidents in which distracted driving played a major role.
  • 13% distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were in the age group 13 – 19 and were using their cell phones.
  • 39% drivers aged 20 – 29 involved in a fatal distracted driving accident were using their cell phones.
  • An estimated 18% drivers and passengers were injured in car accidents that involved distracted driving in some form. 8% of the accidents involved the use of cell phones.

How to File a Claim Against Distracted Drivers in New York

You may be eligible for compensation under New York law if you suffered injuries in a vehicle crash that involved distracted driving. You may be able to seek compensation for vehicle damage, lost wages, and medical bills among others.

Medical bills can include the following expenses because of the accident:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • EMT response
  • Emergency room visit
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgery
  • Intensive care unit stay
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Caretaking

Insurance company of the responsible party may be required to compensate for vehicle damage. This can include the cost of both replacement or repairs depending on whether the car was totaled or not.

Causes of Distracted Driving in New York City Truck Drivers

There are several activities, including electronic devices that can cause a truck driver to drive distractedly. It usually results in the victim of the crash paying the price. These are a few dangerous distracted driving practices that may cause wrecks:

  • Using a tablet or laptop
  • Using a portable music device or DVD player
  • Eating or drinking
  • Adjusting instrument controls
  • Smoking
  • Looking at a map
  • Looking at surroundings
  • Reading newspapers or other work-related documents
  • Reaching for an object in the truck

Proving Distracted Driving in Trucking Accidents

You would be required to prove that the truck driver engaged in distracted driving as with any other type of accident. You would also need to prove that their actions caused your injuries for receiving compensation. The following evidence can help prove this:

  • Police report: Accident reports can state the trucker was engaged in distracted driving. Although, police reports are not admissible in court legally, they can be used as a negotiation instrument. It can be used to persuade the trucking company’s insurance adjuster.
  • Citation: Tickets or citations issued to the truck driver for distracted driving can be a powerful tool in establishing fault.
  • Cell phone records: Cell phone records can prove that the trucker was talking or texting on their phone when they crashed into you.
  • Witness statements: Eyewitnesses that observed the distracted driving of the trucker can offer compelling proof. This is particularly useful since they are neutral parties.
  • Admission of fault: Majority of truckers will not admit to driving distractedly. However, some of them may do when questioned by the police.
  • Accident reconstructionist: You may need an accident reconstruction expert if the cause of the collision is disputed. They will reenact the sequence of events for confirming the distractions that led to the crash.
  • In-cab footage: Most trucks are equipped with cameras inside. This footage can prove that the truck driver was focused elsewhere while driving.
  • Surveillance tapes: Nearby businesses may have surveillance tapes that recorded the crash. They may show that the trucker was eating/drinking, using their cellphone, or engaged otherwise.

Talk to a Qualified and Seasoned NYC Car Accident Attorney Today

You need to prove the other party’s fault in a distracted driving car accident in New York if you want to maximize your financial compensation for covering all your accident-related expenses. Personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can help you in this endeavor. We encourage you get in touch with us right away so that we can understand the unique circumstances of your case and get started on helping you obtain your rightful compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling us at 212-344-1000 or use our online form.


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