What Are Risks of Texting and Driving? 

man texting while driving
Posted: September 5, 2022

Talking or texting on a cellphone while driving is a dangerous, sometimes deadly, distraction. 

Over 3,000 people were killed by distracted driving in 2020, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.   

What is Distracted Driving? 

There are three kinds of driver distraction, according to the NHTSA:  

  • Visual: taking eyes off the road 
  • Manual: taking hands off the wheel 
  • Cognitive: taking the mind off driving 

Basically, a driver distraction is any activity that diverts attention from driving, which can potentially include eating and drinking, talking to other people in the car, putting on makeup, or looking at an entertainment system.  

What Happens When You Text and Drive? 

Texting can potentially encompass every kind of distraction: cognitive, visual, and manual. While it takes only a few seconds to send a text message, that’s long enough to put the driver and other drivers and passengers at risk. At highway speeds, you can drive the length of a football field in less than five seconds—and that’s the very least amount of time texting requires 

Cognitive distractions can last longer than the period of inattention they bring about because afterward the driver may need to refocus on the road. Brain activity associated with visual processing and attention can be suppressed when drivers are cognitively distracted. That’s called “inattention blindness, according to some sources. This happens when drivers fail to comprehend or process information from objects in the roadway even when looking at them.  

New York State Texting and Driving Laws

New York state has enacted laws against manually operating any mobile device while driving. Subject to some limited exceptions, New York law prohibits the use of cell phones for talking, texting, or any other purpose while driving a motor vehicle on public roadways. Drivers should not text and drive because it is dangerous and unlawful. New York caselaw has held that motorists have a duty to see that which is there to be seen. This means that a driver who, due to a distraction, does not see what is there to be seen can potentially be liable if such distraction causes an injury to someone else on the road.  

Hurt in an Accident Caused By a Distracted Driver? Call William Mattar, P.C. 

When drivers are talking or texting on cell phones, they cannot focus on the road and can injure or even kill passengers and other drivers on the road. If you were injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, contact William Mattar, P.C., by calling (844) 444-4444. Request a free initial consultation.  

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