Distracted Driving Accidents in New York

cell phoneDistracted driving is the cause of countless accidents in New York and across the United States. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Mark A. Siesel, our New York distracted driving accident attorneys understand how to handle these claims. With years of experience, we take an aggressive approach in fighting for your legal rights at every step of the way.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as driver inattention that can lead to an accident. In other words, a distraction takes place when drivers divert their attention from the primary task of driving to focus on some other activity. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving was the cause of 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries across the country in 2015. Driver inattention or distraction was listed as a factor in 19.1 percent of all crashes and 10.4 percent of all fatal crashes in New York in 2014, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Examples of distracted driving include but are not limited to:

  • Talking or texting on your phone without a hands-free device;
  • Adjusting the stereo or GPS;
  • Turning back to comfort a child in a car seat;
  • Checking social media;
  • Fatigue or drowsiness;
  • Emotional distraction;
  • Watching a video; or
  • Putting on makeup or grooming.

Using cell phones while driving is regulated by New York Vehicle & Traffic Laws, Article 33:  Miscellaneous Rules, Section 1225-c and 1225-d. Under state law, you may not use a phone or other device while driving, unless:  i) you use a hands-free device, and ii) the device is attached to the vehicle dashboard or other surface. New York law only makes an exception for emergency situations in which you may need to call the police, fire department, or other emergency service. In addition, New York distracted driving laws further restrict drivers from using phones while stationary in traffic (i.e., waiting for a traffic light or at some other stop).

When a person is injured in a distracted driving accident, he or she can likely recover compensation through a negligence claim against the at-fault party. Negligence takes place when a driver does not use ordinary care behind the wheel, causing injuries to someone else. Ordinary care is defined as how a reasonably prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. Consider the following situation. If a driver causes a crash because he or she was texting while driving, that driver would likely be responsible for any resulting injury or property damage because a prudent or sensible driver would not engage in such conduct.

Distracted driving accidents can lead to serious, even deadly injuries. No matter the circumstances of your accident, our seasoned New York distracted driving accident attorneys are here to help. At the Law Offices of Mark A. Siesel, we are committed to pursuing full and fair compensation on behalf of all of our clients. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. For more information about your legal rights and options, call us at 914-428-7386 or contact us online.

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