In New York, driving is a necessity as well as a way of life that we sometimes take for granted. Although motorists have an obligation to be aware of their surroundings at all times, many drivers can easily become distracted or lose their concentration. While many are aware that using a smartphone or texting while driving is illegal, drivers can also become distracted by tuning the radio, eating, drinking or talking to other passengers.
Distracted driving can not only result in a citation for a traffic violation, it’s also dangerous and caused numerous car accidents and injuries each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver inattention is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. If you have been ticketed for distracted driving, an experienced traffic violations attorney can help protect your driving record.
AutoTrafficTickets.com has extensive experience handling distracted driving cases in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and throughout the greater New York area. We are keenly aware that a distracted driving infraction can result in fines and points on your license. Our traffic violations attorneys have in-depth knowledge of New York’s vehicle and traffic laws and a well-deserved reputation for vigorously defending our clients.
What is distracted driving?
In New York, distracted driving is defined as anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road and impairs his or her ability to drive safely. In particular, the laws in the state prohibit talking on a cell phone or texting while driving:
- Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving — Drivers in New York are prohibited from talking on a hand-held phone while their vehicles are in motion. Violations can result in fines between $50 and $450 depending on the number of offenses. Drivers may only use a cellphone or GPS device with a hands-free accessory or if it is attached to a dashboard or other vehicle surface. A hand-held cell phone can only be used to report an emergency to the police or fire department.
- Texting While Driving — Drivers are not permitted to compose, send, read, browse, or transmit emails or text messages, view or transmit images or play games on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. A violation can lead to fines up to $200 and five points on a driver’s license, depending on the number of offenses.
Did you know that New York was one of the first states to ban cellphone use while driving? The laws have been made tougher since they were first introduced with enhanced penalties to deter motorists from using cell phones. Moreover, distracted driving falls under the state’s primary enforcement laws. This means that law enforcement is allowed to issue drivers a traffic citation even if the officer observes no other violation.
Other Consequences of Distracted Driving
In addition to traffic tickets, distracted driving poses dangers to other motorists and pedestrians. It is worth noting that a distracted driver can be held liable for accidents and injuries in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident that occurred while you were talking on a cellphone, evidence of the call can be used to demonstrate negligence or recklessness, resulting in large monetary liabilities.
At the same time, if someone hits your car while you are using a cell phone, the amount of any injury award you receive will be reduced under the state’s comparative negligence rule. If a driver makes an improper left hand turn, for example, and is found to be 80 percent at fault for the accidents, but you were 20 percent at fault for using your cell phone, the amount of damages you can recover will be reduced by that amount.
New York Traffic Violations Attorney
As you can see, distracted driving can have serious consequences. The police can pull you over merely by observing you talking or texting on a cell phone while driving — which could lead to other violations. In addition to fines, points will be assessed against your driver’s license, which could also raise your insurance premiums. If you cause an accident that was due to distracted driving, you may also face a civil lawsuit.
This is why it is crucial to have the experienced attorneys at AutoTrafficTickets.com on your side if you have been charged with distracted driving. We will use our knowledge of New York’s vehicle and traffic laws to seek a reduction of the charges and fines against you and work to protect your driving record. The rule of thumb is this: don’t use a hand-held cell phone while driving. In the meantime, if you have been ticketed for a distracted driving infraction, call our office today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a free consultation.
Located in Massapequa, Riverhead, and New York City, AutoTrafficTickets.com handles all types of traffic violations for clients in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York City and throughout the New York State.