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What Is New York's Cell Phone While Driving Law?

What Is New York's Cell Phone While Driving Law?

October 3, 2023
Paul Ajlouny

Understanding New York’s Laws on Cell Phone Use

Cell phones offer a fast and convenient mode of communication, allowing us to stay in touch with family and friends and giving us easy access to social media and the internet. But while cell phones have changed how we communicate and access information, they also have a downside. Cell phone usage while driving has become a significant problem, leading to thousands of car accidents each year. To cut down on this dangerous practice, New York has enacted laws banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Below is an overview of the state’s cell phone laws and how they affect a car accident victim’s right to compensation.

Were you or a loved one injured by a distracted driver? If so, you need skilled legal representation to get you the compensation you deserve. At Ajlouny Injury Law, our highly-regarded team of New York car accident lawyers will use our experience and resources to get you full and fair compensation for your losses. Contact our firm today to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney for FREE.

Statistics on Cell Phone Use While Driving

Although many of us think we can safely use our cell phones while driving, the reality is that using a cell phone behind the wheel is extremely dangerous. In fact, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that texting while driving and other distractions cause more than 3,500 traffic fatalities each year. 

The NHTSA also estimates that reading or sending a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. This means that if you are traveling at 55 mph, you will travel the length of a football field without ever looking at the road.

New York’s Cell Phone While Driving Law

In 2001, New York became the first state to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving, enacting additional legislation in 2009 prohibiting the use of other portable electronic devices. According to the New York DMV, unlawful use of these devices includes the following:

  • Talking on a handheld mobile device
  • Reading, writing, or sending texts or emails
  • Browsing the internet
  • Taking, viewing, or sending photos or videos
  • Playing games

Penalties for Using Your Cell Phone While Driving

Anyone caught using a cell phone or other handheld device while driving could face fines and other penalties. The cost of the fine depends on the number of previous violations and the circumstances surrounding the infraction.

  • First offense - Between $50 - $200
  • Second offense within 18 months - Between $50 - $250
  • Third or subsequent offense within 18 months - Between $50 - $450

In addition to fines, motorists will also receive five points on their driving record. If a driver receives 11 or more points within an 18-month period, it can result in the suspension of their driving privileges. A motorist who is found to have used their cell phone while driving and caused an accident as a result, can also be held liable for damages in a distracted driving accident case.

What You Can Do If You Were Injured by a Distracted Driver 

If you are in an accident, there are some things you should do.

Move your vehicle to safety - If possible, move your car to the side of the road and out of the path of oncoming traffic.

Call the police - Report the accident, and if anyone is injured, ask them to send emergency personnel. Also, be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records.

Document the scene - Take photos of the accident scene and write down what happened right away to ensure a key detail is not forgotten.

Speak to a distracted driving accident lawyer - Insurance companies have a team of investigators, medical and financial experts, and attorneys on their side. That is why you need legal representation on your side to protect your rights and best interests.

Call Ajlouny Injury Law Today

Although New York has banned the use of handheld cell phones while driving, many motorists continue to talk and text behind the wheel, putting their lives and the lives of others in jeopardy. If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver, remember you have rights. With the help of a skilled car accident attorney in New York, you can seek recovery for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
The personal injury lawyers at Ajlouny Injury Law work hard to uphold New York’s laws against cell phone use while driving and fight to protect the rights of injured victims and their families. Our firm has helped over 10,000 clients get the justice they deserve, and we are ready to help you, too. There is no cost for your initial consultation, and there are absolutely no fees unless we win your case. Find out how much your case is worth by contacting our New York car accident lawyers online or calling (718) 233-3913 today.

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