Texting laws vary by state, so it’s important to know what they are in your state. Texting and driving laws may help establish liability in the event of an accident. Below, review the texting and driving laws in New York.
What Drivers in New York Need to Know about Texting and Driving
New York prohibits motorists from using a handheld mobile phone to text while driving. This includes other methods of sending or reading communication such as emails or instant messaging. In fact, drivers aren’t allowed to use handheld mobile devices behind the wheel at all. Hands-free mobile phones are permitted.
Truck drivers are prohibited from texting per federal law, so wherever in the country the trucker drives, he or she cannot text behind the wheel.
Penalties a New York Driver Could Face for Texting Violations
The minimum fine is $50. The maximum depends on the offense. A first-time violation results in a maximum $150 fine. A second offense, committed within 18 months, increases the maximum fine to $200. And a third or subsequent offense (again, committed within 18 months) could be as high as $400. Motorists also could pay surcharges as much as $93.
Texting violations could result in five driver points, and certain motorists face losing their license. This includes probationary and junior drivers with a Class DJ or MJ driver license or learner permit. A first-time conviction results in a 60-day suspension of his or her license or permit. A second violation within six months could result in a six-month revocation.
How Texting Behind the Wheel Could Impact an Accident Case
The risk of a crash (or near crash) obviously increases when a driver isn’t paying attention to the road. It takes just seconds of looking away for this to happen. Many times it’s the result of an unexpected event. Because the driver wasn’t looking, by the time he or she sees the danger, there isn’t enough time to react.
After an accident, the police will investigate to determine the cause. New York is a no-fault state, which means a driver turns to his or her own insurance company for coverage. But a serious crash could allow an injured victim to pursue legal action against the other driver. In these circumstances, fault matters, which means the claimant needs to prove the other driver caused the crash.
Evidence of texting is one way to build a strong case against the other driver. But this isn’t always easy to prove. If there was a witness who can testify seeing the driver texting just before the crash, this will help. If the police report shows the driver received a citation for texting, this can also help.
In some cases, the other driver’s phone records could get pulled. Looking at the time when the accident occurred, the records can show if there was texting activity.
Although texting is an important piece of evidence, it’s not enough to establish fault. It’s important to gather as much proof as possible, such as photographs of the damaged vehicles and accident scene.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice When an Accident Results in Serious or Fatal Injuries
Texting while driving can cause a minor fender-bender — or a severe crash. It’s critical to talk with an attorney if you’ve been seriously injured. An injured victim or the family who has lost a loved one may have the right to file a lawsuit.
Serious collisions can result in sizable medical costs and a loss of income for weeks or months. A disabling injury could put a person out of work for good. To learn about the types of damages recoverable in an accident, talk to an attorney today at Gacovino, Lake & Associates by calling 800-550-0000 or contact us online.