Anyone in Nassau County that drives should realize that texting behind the wheel is against the law and considered a primary offense, meaning police officers can pull someone over for texting alone. Not only should drivers keep abreast of statewide bans such as this, they should also realize that texting is one of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents in New York. Unfortunately, texting is not the only cause of distracted driving and there are many different ways in which a driver could be putting motorists at risk of serious injury or death.
In 2011 alone there were more than 3,000 people who died from distracted driving, according to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Though this figure is national, it is frightening to think what percentage of those deaths were in New York. Moreover, 387,000 people were also injured in distracted driving crashes.
Granted, many of the people who were injured or killed in these crashes were the distracted drivers themselves, but that is not always the case. There are many instances, however, in which the distracted driver is fine, but an innocent passenger, motorist, pedestrian or cyclist are injured or killed. When that is the case, the accident victim or his or her family can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, respectively, against the distracted driver. Not only does a lawsuit compensate the victim, but it also provides a sense of justice as the distracted driver is being held liable for his or her actions.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we can only hope that New York drivers will avoid distractions and stay focused on the roads.
Source: WATE-TV, “AAA recognizes distracted driving awareness month with safety tips,” Drew Gardner, April 1, 2014