New York Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
The proliferation of mobile devices and technologies that connect us to friends, family and the office while we are engaged in other tasks has resulted in one of the major modern challenges in roadway highway safety: distracted driving. The problem is so severe that most states, including New York, have enacted legislation prohibiting the use of a cell phone or other mobile device while driving or otherwise operating a motor vehicle. While we all know that texting, checking e-mail, or making a phone call while driving is dangerous, many of us seem to find the impulse to do so irresistible. According to research performed by the Virginia Tech transportation Institute, checking a single message can distract a driver for roughly 4.6 seconds – an eternity considering the split-second decisions that are often necessary while driving. In fact, traveling at 55 miles per hour, you would travel roughly the length of a football field in just under 5 seconds. While electronic devices are one of the main reasons for distracted driving, they are not the only reason it occurs. If you have been seriously injured or if a loved one has been wrongfully killed by a distracted driver the attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw can fight for you.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when the driver’s attention and focus is diverted away from the roadway and traffic to some other concern that is unrelated to driving. In recent years cell phones have become the biggest reason for driver distraction. In recognition of this problem, New York has made it illegal to call, text or e-mail while driving. However there are many other occurrences and situations that can distract a driver including:
- Changing the radio station
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Disciplining bickering children in the backseat
- Adjusting vehicle mirrors or controls while driving
- Referring to a map or other reference while driving
- Fixing one’s hair or make-up in the mirrors
- Using a stand-alone GPS device
- Watching video content on a vehicle entertainment system
- Talking to passengers in the vehicle
The above are only a selection of the types of things and situations that can distract a driver and lead to accidents at intersections or single car wrecks. Unfortunately many other factors can contribute to a distracted or inattentive driver.
How Big of a Problem is Distracted Driving?
In 2012, nearly 200 billion text messages were sent in the United States. Along with the other sources of distractions discussed above, distracted driving is a problem throughout the United States. In 2011 there were 3,360 deaths where distracted driving was reported. In 2012 distracted driving deaths fell slightly to 3,328. It is estimated that 387,000 people suffered distracted driving injuries in 2011 which increased by about 9% to 421,000 injuries in 2012.
Drivers in their 20s and younger appear to be at the highest risk of this type of injury since the cohort of drivers in their 20s accounts for 27 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes. Furthermore, 10% of drivers under the age of 20 who were in a fatal crash were reported as being distracted at the time of the collision.
What Types of Injuries can be Caused by Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving can produce all of the injuries that can be caused by any other type of motor vehicle accident. For instance, a rollover accident can occur when a distraction delays a driver’s reaction and causes him or her to overcompensate. Consequences of a distracted driving collision include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – TBIs can be produced by violent motor vehicle crashes regardless of the reason for the accident. TBIs are extremely concerning because they disrupt the control center of the body: the brain.
- Whiplash and spinal column injuries – Whiplash and spinal injuries are not uncommon due to the violent and rapidly changing forces involved in a motor vehicle accident. Injuries of this type can range from a mild condition that will resolve with time to fatal injuries.
- Broken bones – Fractured or broken bones are extremely common in a car accident. The individual may crack ribs or suffer a break in his or her arms and legs.
- Death – Unfortunately the high speeds and large masses involved in a car, truck or SUV accident means that death by auto is possible. The use of a seat belt and safe driving habits can reduce the likelihood of death and other injuries.
The foregoing are only a selection of the types of injuries that we have seen following a car accident. Many others including severe burns, lacerations, contusions and other injuries are possible.
Let Our Distracted Driving Litigation Experience Work For You
Our Sullivan & Galleshaw attorneys are dedicated to fighting for those injured by the careless or negligent acts of another person. Whether you were injured by a distracted driver or by other means we are dedicated to fighting for you. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation call 718-843-0300 or contact us online.