According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day approximately 9 people are killed, and 1,000 are injured as the result of distracted driving. Distracted driving is the state of driving your vehicle without devoting 100% of your focus to the task at hand. A distracted driver is trying to do two things at once, driving and, for instance, talking to a passenger, using a cell phone, disciplining children, or engaging with a car’s in-vehicle technology. Since these activities take away at least part of the driver’s focus, it becomes a dangerous situation for everyone. The CDC divides distracted driving into three types:
- Visual—taking your eyes off the road,
- Manual—taking your hands off the wheel, and
- Cognitive—taking your mind off the task of driving.
Accidents from distracted driving have seen an increase in recent years due to the use of smartphones and the infotainment systems built into newer vehicles. Texting or using in-vehicle technology such as a navigation system, are particularly dangerous because they combine all three types of distraction at once. While New York prohibits the use of a portable electronic device while driving, it doesn’t always prevent the problem. 49% of respondents to an AAA survey admitted to using their cell phone while driving.
Any type of car accident can cause injury, but distracted driving injuries can be more severe because the driver lacks time to respond or maneuver around a hazard. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the infotainment systems in many new cars can distract drivers for over 40 seconds at a time. In that time, a car driving at 25 miles per hour would travel the length of four football fields, all while mostly driving blind. This means that a driver would have no time to hit the brakes if a car pulled in front of them. This can lead to even more serious injuries than an accident with a drunk driver who at least has his eyes on the road. Even reading a text message, which takes an average of about 5 seconds, can substantially impair a driver’s reaction time. Distracted driving can also lead to an increased likelihood of a driver drifting into another lane, leading to the side-swipe of another vehicle or a head-on collision.
Drivers who engage in negligent behavior must be held accountable for their actions. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, you should contact the attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, P.C. Combined we have more than 100 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers and are dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule a free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla Español.