Indeed, distracted driving is a nationwide epidemic. According to KYMA-TV, nearly 660,000 Americans use their phones while driving every single day. Meanwhile, being distracted raises the risk of a driver causing a car wreck by 23 percent. The implications for the health and safety of Americans are obvious.
Most states have criminalized some forms of distracted driving, though the strictness varies from state to state. For what it is worth, New York State has some of the toughest laws in the country. Any use of “portable electronic devices” while driving is illegal, unless the device is attached the vehicle (and being used hands free) or being used during an emergency. The penalties are strict, ranging from fines to points on your license to suspension for repeated offenders.
Though distracted drivers are a menace 12 months out of the year, April is a good time to think about our own habits in the car. It is common for chronic distracted drivers to recognize that it is a terrible habit but another thing for them to break that habit for their own and others’ safety on the road. It would appear that distracted drivers think that they are somehow immune to its effects.
Though phones are perhaps the most common source of distraction, anything that takes your attention away from operating your car can cause a serious wreck. Other frequent distractions include adjusting the radio, eating or grooming while driving. See our website for more details.