New York Distracted Driving Attorneys
Distracted driving is a strange phenomenon, in that most drivers generally agree about the dangers and yet a huge portion of drivers continue to do it. On roadways across the country, people take their eyes off the road to send a text or email, pick a song on their phone, grab something to eat, or do any other activity besides watch the road and the cars in front of them. Thousands of people are killed each year as a result.
Distracted driving is irresponsible and dangerous, and anyone who causes an accident because of their split attention must be held accountable for their actions. If a distracted driver has hurt you or a loved one in a car crash in the Hudson Valley, the seasoned and effective distracted driving lawyers at Ingber & Provost can help you get the compensation you are owed for your damages.
The Perils of Distracted Driving
According to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “driver inattention” is defined as any one of the following:
- Drivers engaged in secondary tasks not related to driving (e.g., texting or eating)
- Driver drowsiness
- Driving-related inattention to the roadway ahead
- Non-specific glances away from the roadway
NHTSA’s study listed driver inattention as the primary contributing factor to crashes and near-crashes, beating out speeding, aggressive driving, and driving while intoxicated as solo factors. Nearly 80% of crashes in the study involved a driver looking away from the road just prior to the crash. According to NHTSA’s findings, looking away from the road for two or more seconds will double the risk of a crash or near crash. Moreover, engaging in any one of these activities will double or even triple the likelihood of a crash: talking, listening, or dialing a hand-held device; inserting or retrieving a CD or tape; operating a PDA or smartphone; reading; applying makeup; and eating. Studies show, in fact, that sending a text can take your eyes off the road for as long as five seconds, which means if you are traveling at 55 mph, you will be blind to the road for the length of a football field.
Distracted Driving is a Rampant Problem in New York and Across the Country
Across the country, there were 37,133 traffic fatalities in 2017. Around 8.5-10% of fatal accidents annually are specifically connected to distracted driving. In 2018, there were 4,637 traffic deaths involving distracted drivers. That means that nationally, 12 people are killed every day in distracted driving accidents. Teens are particularly susceptible to distracted driving accidents: Studies show that distracted driving, including texting while driving, is the cause of more than 58% of car crashes involving teen drivers.
According to a AAA’s 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, even though nearly all drivers (around 96%) view reading or typing a text or email on a cell phone as very or extremely dangerous, almost half (41%) admitted to having read a text and around a third (32%) admitted to having typed a text or email while driving in the previous 30 days. Almost 80% of drivers view talking on a cell phone as very dangerous, and yet over half (52%) reported having done so in the last month.
The problem is pervasive in New York. From 2011 to 2016, New York saw a 918% increase in tickets for texting while driving. In 2015, in just New York, 160 people were killed and 33,000 more were injured in crashes involving distracted or inattentive drivers. The same year, over 21% of accidents involving injury or death were connected to distracted driving. In 2017, Governor Cuomo established a statewide crackdown as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to try to combat the issue. Holding distracted drivers accountable for the accidents they cause can help dissuade people from this irresponsible and dangerous habit.
Call Ingber & Provost, Hudson Valley Auto Accident Attorneys
For seasoned, effective, and trial-ready legal help for distracted driving accident victims in New York’s Hudson Valley, contact the Poughkeepsie offices of Ingber & Provost for a free consultation on your case at 845-733-2720.