Taking your eyes off the road to read a text message for even five seconds at 55 mph is long enough to travel the length of a football field. That helps explain why nine people are killed every day, and more than 1,000 are injured by distracted drivers.

New York bans the use of any hand-held device while driving and offenders receive a $150 fine and two points are added to their driving records. However, insurer The Zebra says the Empire State has some of the most lenient penalties in the nation.

Distractions take a massive human toll

Nearly 4,000 fatalities occur each year in accidents involving distracted drivers and the most recent statistics show 391,000 people were injured in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: Letting your eyes wander away from the road
  • Cognitive: Focusing on other things besides driving
  • Manual: Removing your hands from the steering wheel

Young adults and teens are most at risk

The CDC says drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of fatal distracted driving crashes, nearly one out of every 10 accidents involving teens. The agency conducted a 2017 survey where 42% of the high school students taking part said they had sent and read texts or emails while driving in the past 30 days. The study also found that students who routinely texted or emailed:

  • Were less likely to wear their seat belts
  • Were more likely to ride with someone else who was drinking
  • Were more likely to drink and drive themselves

Protecting yourself and your family from distracted drivers

While most states have enacted laws banning texting or the use of any hand-held devices that can distract drivers, hundreds of thousands continue to be injured each year. A distracted driver’s negligence can change your life forever, causing massive medical costs, lost wages and other related expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney here in New York will help you understand your options to hold others accountable for their actions and help you recover the compensation you deserve.