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Albany Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer
Let’s say you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds to read or respond to text messages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if you’re driving at about 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. It’s because of this very reason that so many fatal crashes happen on an annual basis in the United States. Car accidents caused by cell phone use have become a deadly – and expensive – problem, especially over the last two decades. A distracted driver can cause a person to suffer crippling debt from medical expenses, car repairs, lost wages, and so much more. If you have suffered massive financial consequences like this due to someone else’s distracted driving, you have grounds to contact an Albany texting and driving accident lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck.
Bailey, Johnson & Peck is a top-notch personal injury law firm in Albany, NY. We are passionate about defending the legal rights of local injured clients. For more information on whether or not you have grounds to file a lawsuit against a distracted driver, call 518-456-0082 today. We offer a free consultation to all new clients.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is taken away from the road. There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual Distraction occurs when someone takes their eyes off the road.
- Manual Distraction occurs when someone takes their hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive Distraction occurs when someone’s mind is distracted. They’re basically thinking about or focused on anything else except for driving.
Answering a text message while driving is one of the most dangerous driving habits because it involves all three types of distraction. Of course, distracted driving accidents can happen due to a variety of other distractions as well.
Other Common Distracted Driving Behaviors
Texting while driving may be the most common distracted driving behavior, but it’s certainly not the only one. Drivers can also get distracted on the roads due to the following reasons.
- Eating or drinking
- Singing and dancing to music
- Talking on the phone
- Scrolling on social media
- Focusing on a roadside attraction (an animal, a car, a crash, etc.)
- Messing around with the navigation system on a phone or another electronic device
- Messing around with the radio or a music app on the phone
- Smoking or vaping
- Taking pictures or videos
- Paying attention to or messing around with passengers in the back seats
- Taking care of a pet in the back seat
- Applying makeup, brushing your hair, looking at yourself in the sun visor mirror
- General fatigued driving
How Many Texting and Driving Accidents Happen in the U.S. Every Year?
Texting and driving statistics show that thousands of people tragically suffer injuries and/or deaths in car accidents every year. These numbers have steadily increased since the early 2000’s, when cell phone use became the norm among teens and adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 424,000 distracted drivers suffered injuries in car accidents in 2019 alone. Meanwhile, more than 3,100 texting and driving deaths occurred in 2019. A texting driver is not the only one at risk for injury or death in a car accident. The CDC also claims that approximately 1 in 5 people who died from a distracted driving accident in 2019 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Who Texts and Drives the Most?
Young drivers are the ones who engage in texting while driving the most. According to the CDC, the age group involved in the majority of 2019 texting and driving accidents were those ages 15 to 20.
Additionally, a 2019 survey found that 39% of U.S. high school students had answered a text message or email while driving in the last 30 days.
New York Texting and Driving Law
In the last two decades, 48 states have banned texting while driving in some way. Some states have texting and driving laws that specifically ban hand-held phone conversations while some have specific texting bans. In New York, it’s illegal to do anything on a hand-held cell phone while driving. This means that it’s illegal to:
- Take phone calls on a hand held device
- Read, write, or send a text message or an email
- Read and browse the web
- View, take, or send pictures on a cell phone
- Play games on a cell phone
The only exception to this rule is if you’re calling 911, medical personnel, or police officers for an emergency. Violating this texting while driving law can result in the following consequences:
- First Offense: A fine of $50 to $200.
- Second Offense: A fine of $50 to $250.
- Third or Subsequent Offense: A fine of $50 to $450.
- Up to 5 driver violation points per offense added to your driving record. If you receive more than 11 points on your driving record within a year and a half, you may face driver’s license suspension.
Common Injuries From Texting and Driving Accidents
A distracted driver is at risk for serious injury and death from motor vehicle crashes involving electronic devices. Listed below are the most common types of personal injuries that distracted drivers can suffer in a car accident.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) such as concussions
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Back injuries such as disc herniations and radiculopathy
- Airbag injuries
- Seat belt injuries (commonly known as seat belt syndrome)
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and dislocations
- Permanent scarring, disability, and disfigurement
- Major bruising, lacerations, and road rash
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- One or more amputations
- Loss of fetus
- Degloving injuries
- Wrongful death
Can I Sue a Driver Who Hit Me While Texting and Driving?
Yes, you can certainly sue a driver for hitting you due to texting while driving, especially if you suffered injuries and other damages. Not only will filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver allow you to receive compensation, but it could help deter texting while driving in general. The more people realize that car crashes involving cell phones cost lives, the more likely other drivers will avoid distracted driving in the future. Allow the Albany personal injury lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck to build a strong case and fight for justice on your behalf.
Damages for a Texting and Driving Accident
Albany personal injury lawyers at our law firm can help you potentially recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future physical therapy expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from completing all of your job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and/or disability
- Funeral and burial expenses if the car accident resulted in wrongful death
How to Avoid Texting and Driving
The best way to save lives is to practice safe driving behaviors at all times. Below, our team of Albany personal injury lawyers include the best ways to prevent distracted driving.
- Silence or Turn Off Your Cell Phone While Driving. This is one of the best ways to stop texting while driving. When we are bored while sitting at a stop light or while driving down a never ending highway, we will definitely want to pick up a cell phone, especially if it’s ringing or vibrating. Remove the temptation to drive distracted by silencing or turning off your phone.
- Make Sure Your Phone is Out of Reach and/or Out of Sight. You can do this by putting your cell phone in the glovebox, the console compartment, or in a purse in the back seat. Again, this will help remove the temptation to engage in texting while driving.
- If You Need to Answer an Important Call or Text, Pull Over. Many times, the calls and texts on our cell phones require a quick response, especially if there is an emergency happening. For your safety and others, it’s best to just pull over to answer phone calls and text messages like this.
- Set the Example. Parents (or even older siblings) who engage in texting and driving on a regular basis are teaching younger drivers that this is safe, acceptable behavior on the roads. Teen drivers are the newest and therefore most inexperienced drivers on the roads. It’s crucial that they engage in behaviors that allow them to drive safely.
- Consider Using an App to Monitor a Teen Driver. There are tons of apps out there that allow parents to monitor their teen’s texting and driving behaviors. There are even apps out there that can help teen drivers avoid texting while driving. If your teen’s cell phone use on the roads is becoming a problem, these apps are well worth considering.
Call an Albany Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck TodayPeople who engage in any dangerous activity on the roads should be held accountable. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or death from a motor vehicle crash caused by texting while driving, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. In order to build the strongest case possible, you need strong legal representation on your side. An Albany texting and driving accident lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck is that strong legal representation. We have what it takes to gather sufficient evidence to support your claim, negotiate a fair settlement with a car insurance company, defend your legal rights, and fight for justice on your behalf. Call 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation with our team today.
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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.
We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.