Despite many states, including New York, passing laws that prohibit texting while driving, it continues to be the cause of car accidents. One measure being taken in an attempt to curtail this dangerous behavior behind the wheel is to increase the penalty for those who are caught doing it.
Previously, a driver could get three points on his/her driver’s license for texting and driving. It has now been increased to five points, which makes this a serious traffic offense. If within the course of 18 months a driver were get 11 points, the license would then be suspended.
The penalties are even stiffer for new drivers. They can lose their license for up to 60 days for texting while driving.
Efforts by law enforcement have already been ramped up to address this potentially deadly form of distracted driving. From now and throughout the summer, there will be more checkpoints to catch offenders.
Distracted Driving Statistics in New York
The ban on texting in New York is a primary law. This means that without any other traffic offenses being committed, a driver can be issued a citation for this violation. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2011 there were 35 crashes involving texting. But this isn’t the only distractive behavior that can lead to a crash.
The use of handheld devices is also prohibited. There were 526 crashes involving handheld cell phones and 48 involving hands-free devices. In general, driver distraction/inattention accounted for 49,917 crashes.
Sometimes it’s pretty clear that a driver was texting or otherwise distracted at the time of a crash. Other times it may not be discovered until an investigation has been conducted. When it’s believed that some type of distraction caused a crash resulting in serious injuries, it’s beneficial to speak with an attorney. Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates for help filing a claim.