Distracted driving is a growing problem in Manhattan with more people using hand-held devices than ever before. However driver distraction can put the driver and others around him or her at risk of injury or death if an accident ensues. Anything that takes a driver’s mind, sight, and hands off of the task of driving should be avoided because it takes only a second for a crash to happen. Distracted driving behavior includes eating, talking on the phone, grooming, and texting.
A new law will hopefully encourage teen drivers to put their phone down when they are driving. Teen driving and texting is a large problem in New York; 45 percent admit to the behavior in a survey. The law, which was signed recently by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, establishes a harsher penalty for teens who are caught ignoring the law. Instead of having to pay a fine, teens will have their license suspended for 60 days and a second offense yields a suspension of six months.
Teens often feel that they are invulnerable and this can lead to a false sense of security. However, there are many stories out there of teenagers who have killed or injured someone because of this reckless behavior. Medical care is expensive and when someone is injured by a distracted driver, they may be unable to work for some time, adding to the challenges they face. In such cases, it may be beneficial for a victim to speak with an attorney about how they can pursue the driver at fault for financial compensation.
Source: Transportation Nation, “To Stop Teens from Texting While Driving, NY Will Suspend Licenses,” Alex Goldmark, July 1, 2013