NY Motorists Overlook Ban on Texting and Driving

Texting and driving is a deadly combination for motorists in New York and across the country. Many studies show that using a hand-held cellular device to text or talk while driving can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents by as much as three times, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. In an attempt to keep New York roadways safe for all motorists, state lawmakers enacted a ban on talking and texting on hand-held cellphones while driving. Despite these laws, however, many drivers continue to use their cellphones and as a result, endanger the lives of millions of motorists.

Increase in texting and driving citations

Even though motorists are at risk of receiving hefty fines or having their driver's licenses suspended, many cannot seem to put their cellphones away while driving. The number of texting and driving citations issued by law enforcement officers in Binghamton alone increased from 168 citations in 2012 to 355 tickets in 2013, according to WGRZ News. Statewide, there was an 82 percent increase in the number of texting and driving tickets given to New York motorists from 2012 to 2013.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of distractions. They include the following:

  • Manual distractions: Activities that require use of a driver's hands.
  • Visual distractions: Tasks that require drivers to take their eyes off of the road.
  • Cognitive distractions: Activities that take a driver's focus and mental concentration away from driving.

All tasks that are manually, visually, and cognitively distracting increase the risk of serious motor vehicle accidents and personal injury. Texting, however, is considered especially dangerous because it uses all three types of distractions. A study performed by VTTI found that drivers who are texting take their eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds, which is comparable to driving the length of a football field blindfolded while going 55 mph.

Finding legal help

People who choose to text and drive, or engage in any other type of distractive activity, should be held responsible for the consequences of their negligent actions. Not only can distracted-driving auto accidents cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, loss of limbs and permanent disabilities, but they can take lives as well. A New York personal injury attorney can help people who have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of distracted driving.