Texting has completely changed the landscape of how people communicate with one another. In a matter of seconds, people can engage each other in conversation despite their remote locations. This luxury has created a new, fast, and efficient communication system. It also has been used inappropriately and in dangerous situations, like while driving a motor vehicle.
Drivers, especially younger drivers, are becoming easily distracted by their cellphones and texting while driving. Even though the driver is taking his or her eyes and concentration off the road for "just a few seconds," those seconds are sometimes fatal. These distractions — including texting while driving — can drastically change the life of drivers, their passengers, other drivers on the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other people. The habit of instant communication, while even operating a fast moving motor vehicle, has become routine for many people.
When you need a lawyer, get the BIG GUNZTM
If you or a family member was involved in a motor vehicle accident that involved texting while driving, our staff at the office of Michael Gunzburg, P.C., stand ready to help you investigate and prosecute your case. We understand that a few moments that the distracted driver takes to respond to their text can have a life-altering impact on you. We have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accidents, and helping our clients get the maximum compensation available in their case. We help our clients get the following compensation:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Physical therapy/ rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity in case of a disability
- Pain and suffering and loss of quality of life
The laws regarding texting while driving and using a cellphone while driving are not simple, and require an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to assist you. We stand ready to handle your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Take advantage of our three decades of litigation experience as New York City personal injury attorneys, and let us take care of your case, while you take care of your medical condition and physical recovery. We will work tirelessly to prosecute your case and get you the most compensation available.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a driver who was texting while driving, contact our firm immediately.
A National Epidemic
Everyone likes to talk to their friends and family on a cellphone, or text them for instant communication and gratification. The problem is that the time it takes for a driver to attend to their cellphone or read and respond to a text message, can result in deadly consequences on the road. The motor vehicles are moving fast, drivers are changing lanes, speeding up, slowing down, and all drivers need to be alert and constantly vigilant. Texting while driving takes a driver’s concentration and focus off the road and places it on their cellphone. It only takes a few seconds for an incident to occur which requires a driver’s immediate attention and response. If the driver is texting, then they are losing the critical time needed to respond to these sudden changing events. This can lead to a major traffic accident causing people serious injury or even death.
Texting while driving has become a national epidemic, and leads to an incredible amount of accidents and deaths every year. According to the National Safety Council, 1.2 million car crashes in 2013 involved talking on handheld devices. More significantly, National Safety Council estimates that an additional 6 percent or more crashes or a minimum of 341,000 of crashes in 2013 involved text messaging. Texting while driving is no joke and should not be taken lightly. Here are some additional statistics on the subject:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they use a cellphone or portable electronic device for texting while driving.
- Tests have shown that texting slows down your reaction speed to break by 18 percent.
- At any given moment, there are 800,000 drivers across the country who are texting while driving on the road.
- Texting is six times more likely to cause a car accident than driving drunk.
- The level of impairment is the same if not worse than the impairment that consuming alcohol causes for drivers.
- Nearly 25 percent of all car wrecks in 2011 involved a cellphone.
New York’s Distracted Driving Laws
New York has not been immune from the effects of texting while driving. To counter the effects of distracted driving, particularly texting, New York State imposed strict regulations on handheld electronic devices in 2010. New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices. Illegal activity includes holding a portable electronic device and:
- Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
- Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as emails, text messages, or Web pages
- Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
- Playing games
The law defines the following terms as:
(a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any handheld mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section 1225-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
(b) "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving email, text messages, or other electronic data.
Violation Penalties And Fines
The penalty for a violation of this law shall be 5 driver violation points and a fine, as described below. This is a primary law, which means an officer may stop you if you are observed using a handheld device. It is illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle is in motion.
These penalties continue to get stricter year after year and on November 1, 2014, New York made a number of revisions to its current law:
- Conviction will result in a mandatory 120-day driver’s license or permit suspension.
- Subsequent convictions within six months of a license restoration will result in a revocation of at least one year of a probationary license, junior license or learner permit.
Maximum fines were also changed as follows:
- For a first offense, $50 to $200
- For a second offense committed within 18 months, $50 to $250
- For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months, $50 to $450
The law surrounding texting while driving is significant and is intended to help reduce traffic injuries and deaths on the road. It’s important to know and understand your legal rights regarding texting and driving. We have dealt with texting and driving in other motor vehicle accident cases. We understand what it takes to prove your case at trial and help you secure the maximum compensation available.
Contact Us Today For Help
If you or a family member was involved in a motor vehicle accident while a driver was texting and driving or using their cellphone while driving, we have decades of experience handling these cases, and stand ready to help you on your case. Call us at 212-725-8500 or 212-725-8500 or email us today.