Distracted driving has become a very serious issue and a common cause of
motor vehicle accidents. While distracted driving could be caused by many
different means, such as the radio, GPS, and even passengers, by far the
most common cause of distracted driving is due to cellular devices.
Anytime the driver of a motor vehicle takes his or her eyes off of the
road and looks down at a cell phone, he or she is risking causing a crash.
A vehicle without a driver paying attention is essentially an unguided
missile hurdling down the roadway.
In response, New York has made virtually all conduct using a cell phone
while driving illegal. Violations of this law can result in five (5) points
or more, fines, surcharges, and loss of license. More importantly, violations
of this law could result in serious injury or death. And thousands of
people each year are killed as a result of distracted driving.
There are two pertinent sections of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law
which apply to cell phone usage while operating a motor vehicle. The first is
Section 1225-c. This section governs cell phone usage to place a telephone call while
the motor vehicle is in operation, and prohibits such conduct. The only
narrow exceptions are to make emergency telephone calls and to activate
a hands free device. A driver may make or take cell phone calls while
driving as long as he or she is using only one finger to operate a single
The second section is
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-d. This section governs cell phone usage to send or receive text messages,
e-mails, and other data while operating a motor vehicle. Unlike the first
section, there are no exceptions which allow drivers to text, e-mail,
or check websites while driving.
If either one of these sections is violated and a victim is injured because
of the violation, the doctrine of negligence per se may allow the victim
to receive compensation. This doctrine allows for the finding of negligence
as a matter of law if the statute was violated and a victim’s injuries
are caused by such violation. This doctrine applies to violations of both
1225-c and 1225-d.
Poughkeepsie car accident attorneys know just how dangerous distracted driving is. Even if you think you can
look away for only a second to see who is calling, or quickly swipe open
the phone to see who is texting, you are truly risking your life and everyone
else’s life on the roadway. Don’t do it. And if you or anyone
you know has been injured by a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted
driving while using his or her cell phone, call our experienced car accident
attorneys to learn how to protect your rights.
Learn more about important New York Statutes and Negligence Per Se
in our article posted here. Read about New York’s Move Over Law and how it protects police and
fire rescue from serious injuries in
our blog post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.