Driving a car is a big responsibility. Many of us do it every day, and that familiarity makes us forget just how dangerous being in control of thousands of pounds of metal traveling dozens of miles an hour can be.
Anyone who’s been in a car accident, however, can tell you how scary and dangerous it is when drivers don’t respect the road or their vehicles. One of the most common causes of car accidents, from minor fender benders to life-threatening collisions, is distracted driving and bad driving habits. Every time a New York driver indulges in one of these behaviors, they put themselves and others at risk.
1. Talking on a Cell Phone
You’re probably sick of hearing about how dangerous it is to drive while talking on a cell phone, but we’re going to repeat it anyway. Drivers who talk on cell phones while operating their vehicle are one of the most prevalent nuisances on 21st century New York streets. Not only are they running the risk of being hit with a heavy fine—up to $450 for repeat offenses1—they are also putting themselves and the people around them in serious danger of injury or even death.
2. Driving Tired
A recent study by AAA found that drowsy drivers present as much risk as people who drive drunk.2 If you find yourself jumping in your car despite the fact that you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you may be more of a danger on the road than you realize until it’s too late.
3. Eating Behind the Wheel
New Yorkers are busy people, and we often find ourselves eating on the go. No matter how busy you are, however, eating while driving is never a good idea. Trying to drive while eating is a bad idea for the same reason driving while talking on a cell phone is—it creates a distraction and makes it harder to react in time to prevent accidents.
4. Driving Too Fast
Drivers don’t have to be texting or eating to be distracted. When people travel at excessive speeds, they lose the ability to properly survey the road and the area around it, making it more likely that they will cause an accident.
When New York drivers let themselves become distracted or indulge in bad driving habits, they are a danger to themselves and the people around them. In addition to possibly being ticketed, fined, or having their license suspended, distracted drivers could also find themselves financially responsible for accidents and their victims’ legal fees, or even facing charges of vehicular manslaughter in the worst case scenario. No matter how much time it feels like you’re saving by taking a call or eating a meal while driving, the potential costs aren’t worth it.
Have you been in an accident caused by a distracted driver? The Dearie Law Firm has been representing New York auto accident victims for 30 years. Contact us today at (212) 970-6500.