Despite recent attempts by New York and other states to curb distracted driving and to raise awareness of its risks, thousands of New Yorkers get behind the wheel every day in some form of distraction. Cell phone use while driving continues to be a primary source of distraction, and on average, nine people lose their lives nationwide every day due to distracted driving. Thousands more suffer severe injuries, requiring the assistance of dedicated New York distracted driving injury lawyers to help them protect their legal rights and to seek compensation for harms that could have been avoided.
A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 69 percent of drivers admitted to using their cell phone while driving, and that 31 percent of these drivers admitted to texting or emailing behind the wheel within the past 30 days.
The CDC study also identified several risk factors for distracted driving. The most dangerous distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive – that is, they distract the driver’s eyes, hands, and mind from the road all at once. Texting and emailing are classic examples of these types of “combination” distractions.
Younger drivers, especially those under age 20, may be at a higher risk for distraction-related crashes, as they have the highest fatality rate of any age group and often lack the experience to avoid accident situations. Nearly half of all U.S. teens 16 and older admitted to texting while driving, and those who do text while driving are also more likely to ride with drivers who text behind the wheel without calling out this risky behavior.