Welcome to the Distracted Driving Blog. As a Vehicle & Traffic Prosecutor for over thirty-three years, I have successfully prosecuted over 30,000 dangerous drivers. My law firm, Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC, has represented auto accident victims for over sixty-three years.
Cell phones have become more and more an integral part of our daily lives. While tickets from the New York State Police for talking on a cell phone have been decreasing, the number of texting tickets issued in New York State increased 918 percent between 2011 and 2016.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers distracted driving to be any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on a cell phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, operating the stereo, entertainment or navigation system or anything that takes one’s attention away from the task of safe driving. NHTSA considers texting as the “most alarming distraction” because sending or reading a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds.
This blog we will discuss the many ways that parents, employers, schools and municipalities can prevent distracted driving and the dire consequences of distracted driving, including :
1) 3,450 deaths and 391,000 persons injured per year from motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. 27% of all crashes involve drivers using cell phones. Traffic crashes are now the leading cause of death for teens. The vast majority of teen crashes are caused by common driver distractions.
2) Distracted drivers who cause fatal accidents face imprisonment for up to 15 years for second degree manslaughter.
3) Verdicts of up to $24.7 million against businesses and governments for distracted driving by their employees.
4) Five license points and maximum fines of $400 for cell phone and texting violations.
5) Distracted drivers with probationary, Class DJ, Class MJ or learner’s permits can have their licenses or permits suspended for 120 days.