Distracted Driving

With traumatic injuries topping the list of types of calls we respond to, it is important that we learn about things we can do to prevent injury before it strikes.


  • Distracted driving (cell phone use, texting, eating/drinking, etc.) made up 20% of injury-causing crashes in the US in 2009 (NHTSA)
  • This resulted in 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries in the same year (FARS and GES)
  • Of those killed, 995 were due to cell phone use while driving (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent (University of Utah)

Drivers Simply Can’t Do Two Things At Once – According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves or others.

Deadly Behavior – In 2008 alone, nearly 6,000 people died and more than half-a-million injuries occurred simply because people were not paying attention to the road. People’s conversations can wait. The chances of causing a crash that could ruin lives is just too great.

Young Drivers Are Especially At Risk – Young drivers are at risk of distracted driving—especially men and women under 20 years of age. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group and the numbers of young drivers who text are only increasing.

Everyone Has a Role – We all have a stake in solving this problem, and we can all be a part of the solution. We must put our phones down; be a good example to our children, peers, and community; and insist that when riding with others they do the same.

New York State Law

In NYS, talking on your cell phone, using a handheld while driving, and texting while driving are all primary offenses.

New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices. Illegal activity includes holding an electronic device and:

  • Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or web pages
  • Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
  • Playing games

The penalty for a violation of this law shall be a fine of up to $150 and 3 driver penalty points. It is a primary law, which means an officer may stop you if you are observed using a handheld device.

Source: http://www.nysgtsc.state.ny.us/phon-vt.htm

Source and more details, visit: http://www.distraction.gov.