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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is Texting and Driving Illegal in New York? | Securing Damages Since 1966!

Using a handheld cell phone while driving a motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous. While there are laws in New York state that prevent drivers from texting behind the wheel, the traffic rules do not completely stop the use of mobile phones. This can lead to catastrophic accidents, resulting in serious injuries and death.

It's crucial for all road users to understand the state laws to reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents and avoid trouble with insurance companies. The Long Island automobile accident lawyers at The Law Office of Carl Maltese have a deep understanding of the traffic rules, and they have helped recover millions of dollars for the injured victims in New York.

Those who have suffered injuries in Long Island, New York, should contact The Law Office of Carl Maltese to discuss their case and learn more about their legal rights.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to the New York State Department of Health, there are, on average, 292 deaths every year due to automobile accidents in the state. Forbes revealed that distracted driving caused around 28,753 motor vehicle crashes in 2022 in New York City alone.

The following are the top five causes of car accidents in New York City:

  • Driver inattention

  • Failure to yield the right of way

  • Following too closely

  • Improper passing

  • Passing too closely

Distracted Driving Laws in New York (Cell Phone Use)

Distracted driving is one of the main reasons for motor vehicle accidents in New York. When drivers are not paying attention to the road and are partaking in other activities, such as eating and talking on the phone, it could increase the risk of car crashes.

To reduce the risk of accidents on the road, states have distracted driving laws that make it illegal to partake in activities that could cause a distraction while behind the wheel. 

In 2001, New York became the first state to explicitly ban the use of a handheld cell phone while driving. Further legislation in 2009 prevents drivers from texting when operating a motor vehicle.

Is Texting and Driving Illegal in New York?

Under the state's distracted driving laws, drivers cannot talk on cell phones, text or read messages, browse the internet, send emails, view pictures and videos, and play games. Even holding a cell phone can constitute an act of distraction, which could increase the risk of car accidents.

Drivers must understand that the distracted driving laws apply not only to cell phone use but also to any portable electronic device, including MP3 players, laptops, and handheld games.

How Can the Use of Cell Phone Increase the Risk of Accidents?

Distractions can take away a driver's attention off the road, preventing them from seeing other motor vehicles or hazards up ahead.

Most drivers argue that since they only look at their handheld electronic devices for a few seconds, it shouldn't affect their ability to drive safely. They fail to realize that depending on their speed, even a glimpse away from the road can result in significant distances traveled. Add delayed reaction to the concoction, and it could increase the risk of accidents.

What Are the Consequences of Using a Cell Phone While Driving in New York?

Failing to adhere to distracted driving laws, including the use of cell phones, can lead to trouble with law enforcement authorities. Drivers could face monetary fines, which vary depending on the number of previous violations.

The following are the fines according to the number of previous violations:

  • First offense: Between $50 and $200

  • Second offense: Between $50 and $250 for the second violation within 18 months.

  • Third offense: Between $50 and $450 for the third violation and subsequent offenses within 18 months.

Besides the monetary fines, there are other consequences that drivers may face for using a handheld cell phone while driving. These may include the following:

  • An additional surcharge of $93;

  • Five points on the driver's license, which could lead to suspension after accumulating 11 points within 18 months; and

  • A driver responsibility assessment fee for accumulating more than six points within 18 months.

If convicted of cell phone violation, probationary and junior drivers in New York may lose all their driving privileges for up to a year or more, depending on the number of previous offenses. A cell phone ticket can also affect a driver's insurance premium.

Can Distracted Driving Laws Keep New York Drivers Safe?

Although the ban on the use of portable electronic devices while driving is meant to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents in the state, there is still an increasing number of car crashes in New York.

New York drivers must not only adhere to the traffic rules and distracted driving laws but also practice defensive driving. They must maintain their vehicles to avoid brake failures and other issues. Taking preventive measures is crucial to ensuring road safety.

It's important to understand that even if a driver follows all of the traffic rules and cellphone usage laws, there may be someone who drives recklessly, putting other road users at risk.

Can Injured Victims in New York Recover Damages for Accidents Involving Texting While Driving?

Driver's inattention to the road due to texting or reading their emails could result in an accident, leading to severe injuries. In such situations, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately to avoid life-threatening complications.

Since texting while driving is illegal in New York, it's unfair for the injured victim to face the physical, mental, and financial burden of the accident caused by another's negligence. Fortunately, the law allows the affected party to pursue a personal injury claim to recover damages. Law Office of Carl Maltese can also answer questions like Is brake checking illegal in New York?

How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Help Injured Victims in New York

How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Help Injured Victims in New York

While the law allows injured victims to pursue personal injury claims, auto insurance companies often make it challenging for the affected parties to recover compensatory damages. They may cite a lack of evidence or pass on the blame to deny payouts.

Skilled personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Carl Maltese can help the injured victims in Long Island, New York, in many ways, including the following:

  • Investigate the accident involving the use of a portable electronic device to determine the liable party and gather evidence.

  • Follow the legal rules and file a personal injury claim against the negligent party's insurance company.

  • Since most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, The Law Office of Carl Maltese can negotiate a fair settlement with the negligent party's insurance company.

  • Take the at-fault driver and their insurer to court and handle the trial process if there are disagreements over a fair settlement.

The Law Office of Carl Maltese Can Help Fight the Injured Victim's Claim!

Those who have suffered injuries in a distracted driving motor vehicle accident in Long Island, New York, should call to schedule a free consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Carl Maltese. They can help assess the facts surrounding their claim, build a strong case, and increase their chances of recovering maximum compensation!


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