Texting and Driving in New York

Cell phone use has become more prevalent in the past decade. Just about everyone owns a smartphone nowadays. Even elementary school-aged children have been known to sport the latest iPhone.

While having access to a phone is a good security measure, many people are addicted to their phones. There are some people who must constantly check their texts, emails and social media accounts—even while driving.

The practice of texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Texting requires visual, manual and cognitive functions. This means that in order to text, a person has to take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, and their mind off the road. This can have serious consequences. When a person takes their eyes off the road for just a few seconds at a speed of 55 mph, they have traveled the length of a football field.

Distracted driving can be deadly. It is especially prevalent among teens, and given that teens have the least amount of driving experience of all age groups, these accidents can be serious. In 2016, distracted driving killed 3,450 people. Another 391,000 were injured.

Every day, nine people are killed and 1,000 people are injured due to texting and other forms of distracted driving. Texting while driving is the same as driving drunk.

Every day, during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving, even though it is illegal. Many states, including New York, have strict laws in place to punish drivers who drive while distracted and put other motorists and pedestrians at risk.


Texting and Driving Laws in New York

New York law prohibits people from using portable electronic devices while driving. A portable electronic device includes a mobile phone, laptop, pager, personal digital assistant (PDA), portable computing device, electronic game device, and two-way messaging device. Prohibited acts include talking on a mobile phone, sending or receiving texts or emails, using the internet, viewing or taking pictures and playing games.

There are several exceptions to this law. It is legal to use a GPS device attached to the vehicle. It is also legal to make a phone call using a hands-free device via Bluetooth. It is also acceptable to make a phone call for emergency purposes and to use a phone while operating an emergency vehicle.

This is a primary law, which means a police officer can pull over a motorist who is using a handheld device. A violation of this law is five driver points as well as a fine of $50 to $250. Those with a probationary license or learner permit who break this law will also have their license or permit suspended for 120 days.


Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today

Texting and driving is a common distraction that can lead to serious and even fatal accidents. While this practice is common among teens, drivers of all ages engage in this behavior. 

If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed by a distracted driver, seek legal help right away. Manhattan car accident attorney at the law office of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. can assess your accident claim and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your damages. Schedule a free consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (212) 518-2095.