New York Injury Law Blog

Blueprint Offered to Help End Distracted Driving

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been steadfast in his battle to end distracted driving in the United States.  Now, under his direction, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched its Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving.

The blueprint “offers a comprehensive strategy to address the growing and dangerous practice of using handheld cell phones behind the wheel. The plan outlines concrete steps stakeholders around the country – from lawmakers and safety organizations to families and younger drivers – can take to reduce the risk posed by distracted driving.”

In explaining why the blueprint is needed, LaHood said, “Distracted driving is an epidemic. While we’ve made progress in the past three years by raising awareness about this risky behavior, the simple fact is people are continuing to be killed and injured – and we can put an end to it.”

The blueprint builds on the national momentum that has been growing for the last three years.  Following are the steps outlined in the blueprint that each driver is encouraged to take to eliminate distracted driving in the United States:

  • Encouraging the remaining 11 states without distracted driving laws to enact and enforce this critical legislation;
  • Challenging the auto industry to adopt new and future guidelines that reduce the potential for distractions on devices built or brought into vehicles;
  • Partnering with driver education professionals to add new materials that educate novices about driver distraction and its consequences; and
  • Providing everyone with actions they can take to help end distracted driving on America’s roadways.

Although distracted driving can occur anytime a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, most often, cellphone use is the culprit.  Nearly all states have enacted a law to prevent drivers from using their cellphone when driving. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam ban texting behind the wheel. Ten states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam prohibit all hand-held cell phone use while driving.

The state of New York made texting while driving a primary traffic offense in July last year, meaning police could stop drivers specifically for the act.  According to SafeNY, violators can be fined up to $150 and 3 driver penalty points.

In 2010, according to the DOT, at least 3,092 people were killed across the country in distraction-affected crashes. That is approximately one in every ten motor vehicle fatalities.

Our Binghamton car accident attorneys encourage all parents to sit down with their teenage drivers and read through the Blueprint.  Educating yourself and your young drivers will help keep everyone safe on our NY roads.

If you have been injured in motor vehicle crash caused by a distracted driver you should seek legal help right away.  An experienced Binghamton car accident attorney can help you file a claim and, especially, to fight the insurance company.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, is a Binghamton accident and injury law firm that handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving drunk-driving accidents, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases.

For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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