Due to the rising popularity of smartphones, it is not uncommon to spot drivers texting on their iPhones, making calls on their Blackberries or looking up directions on their Android phones. One of the major concerns arising from cell phone use on the road is texting and driving. Federal studies have shown that 11% of drivers aged 18-20 who were involved in a car accident and survived said they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed, while university studies have shown that text messaging can create a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Because of this growing risk, the state of New York has enacted laws created to regulate texting and driving in an effort to reduce NY texting and driving accidents. While these laws are meant to safeguard drivers from becoming NY texting and driving accidents, many motorists do not follow these laws on the road. If you or someone you know was injured in a NY texting and driving accident, contact Robert A. Flaster P.C. today to set up a free initial consultation with one of our NY auto accident lawyers.
About NY Texting and Driving Laws
In the state of New York, all drivers are prohibited from using portable electronic devices while on the road. In saying this, New York law forbids drivers from using smartphones and PDAs from viewing, taking or transmitting photos; playing online games; or doing any kind of activity that involves creating, sending or reading e-mails, text messages and other data. While this policy is fairly straightforward, drivers can use their mobile devices if they do any of the following devices or circumstances:
- Using a hands-free mobile telephone.
- Using devices affixed to a vehicle surface.
- Using an attached GPS device.
- Placing an emergency phone call to police or fire departments, a hospital or doctor’s office, or an ambulance corps.
- When operating an emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties.
New York’s legislature made changes to the state’s policy on texting and driving violations and fines over the summer in July. In doing so, the legislature created a tiered policy based on the number of texting and driving offenses a particular driver commits. Before the change, cell phone and texting violation fines were mandated to be at most $100 or less per offense, and carried three driver violation points against your license. Given the rising dangers of NY texting and driving, however, texting and driving offenses now carry five driver violation points against your license, and also come with the following fines plus a $93 surcharge:
- For first-time offenders: $50-$150
- For a second offense committed within 18 months: $50-200
- For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months: $50-$400
The state has also placed similarly severe penalties on younger drivers who have a learner permit. For these drivers, the penalties are as follows:
- For first-time offenders: Mandatory 60-day license or permit suspension
- For a second conviction within six months: A revocation of at least 60 days for a learner permit.
The state also placed additional restrictions regarding texting and driving on commercial drivers in October 2013. For more information on these restrictions and for complete NY texting and driving policies, click here.
How Our NY Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Although the state of New York has taken a serious stance against texting and driving, NY texting and driving cases can still occur. If you sustained injuries in a car accident as a result of texting and driving, and need legal guidance regarding your claim, click here to contact the experienced and compassionate New York auto accident lawyers at Robert A. Flaster P.C. Our experienced NY auto accident lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case and research relevant laws and case history to see whether you have a possible claim. If we find that you do have a possible claim, our NY auto accident lawyers will also help develop a legal strategy that will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Robert A. Flaster P.C. today to set up a free initial consultation with one of our experienced NY auto accident lawyers, and let us help you take the first step toward getting the justice you deserve.