After decades of public education and strict legal penalties, the United States is finally seeing a reduction in the number of drunken driving accidents and fatalities. Unfortunately, injuries and deaths resulting from distracted driving, particularly those involving hand-held devices, are on the rise. Talking on a cell phone while you are driving makes it four times more likely that you will be in a collision.
In April of 2012, more than 65,000 New York State drivers were ticketed for using hand-held devices over “Operation Hang Up” week. Governor Cuomo launched the campaign at Battery Park, which was apt since the majority of the tickets were issued in the five boroughs, including 12,022 in New York County. As of 2011, New York law enforcement has the right to stop any driver using a cell phone or other device. Getting a ticket comes with a $100 fine and three driver violation points.
Drivers who are not paying attention to the road because they are busy with a portable electronic device may be liable for damages if their negligent behavior causes a crash that injures another person. If you suspect that your accident involved a distracted driver, speak with an experienced auto injury attorney as soon as possible.
Tough laws, vigilant traffic enforcement and public awareness are necessary if we want to reduce auto injuries and fatalities. Holding drivers accountable for the consequences of their irresponsible actions is another way to make our roads safer.