New Yorkers taking to the roadways are right to be concerned about the prevalence and danger of distracted driving. As smartphones have become more popular, they have been accompanied by a range of apps that provide easy and tempting distractions for drivers behind the wheel. In recent years, there has been a continuous rise in the number of car accidents that cause fatalities, and a number of researchers have connected this growing risk with the rise of smartphone communication.
In general, even distracted drivers know that this behavior is dangerous and should be avoided; however, when behind the wheel, sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, drivers continue to succumb to distraction. One study conducted by Consumer Reports indicated that half of the licensed drivers with smartphones indicated that they text, email, use apps or play music on their phones at times while operating their vehicles.
There are actions that drivers can take to ward off the appeal of distraction. A number of apps offer car modes that silence notifications and offer instant auto-replies. Placing the phone in an inaccessible location and out of a driver’s line of sight can help prevent someone from reaching for the phone while waiting or bored. In addition, escalated law enforcement is another deterrent as many states have adopted laws against texting and driving that carry heavy fines and sometimes even license points.
Despite widespread knowledge of the risks of distracted driving, car accidents linked to texting and other dangerous behaviors are a daily fact of life. Far too often, those accidents come with serious personal injuries. Accident victims who have been injured due to other drivers’ dangerous, negligent behavior on the roads may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney about pursuing compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other losses due to the crash.