According to the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, distracted driving reflects the primary cause of car accidents throughout the Empire State. Motorists using their mobile devices to talk or text contributed to about 80% of crashes over the past several years.
As reported on the CBS WRGB Albany website, sending or reading a text message while driving is a violation of New York State’s traffic law. In April of 2021, highway patrol officers issued over 1,600 tickets to motorists driving while distracted. When a driver’s focus drifts away from the road for only a few seconds, the risk of a severe accident doubles.
Dangerous manual and cognitive distractions
Bankrate.com notes that motorists use mobile devices to listen to music and to get directions. Dangerous manual distractions include motorists taking their hands off the steering wheel to interact with a device’s buttons or touchscreen.
Cognitive distractions are thoughts that occupy an individual’s mind. Unexpected news flashes or social media updates, for example, may cause drivers to divert their attention from the road. As a result of the unexpected information coming at them, motorists may become angry or distressed. An overwhelming emotional reaction could lead to losing control of the vehicle.
Retrieval of text messages to obtain relief
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 600,000 motorists are using a mobile phone while driving at any given moment. Texting while driving causes approximately 400 fatal car crashes to occur each year.
Families who lost loved ones because of careless motorists may find relief through a wrongful death lawsuit. As noted by the Fordham Law School’s Corporate and Financial Law Journal, officials may retrieve a driver’s text messages during the legal discovery process. The date and time record may reveal whether a sent or received text message contributed to an otherwise preventable crash.