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How to recognize a distracted driver in New York

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Personal Injury |

To ensure your safety on the road, adhering to all New York traffic laws is not enough; you must also keep an eye out for other road users. Most drivers are often distracted; thus, it’s important to take proactive measures to protect yourself.

Understanding distracted driving

Basically, anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction. This can include using a phone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, adjusting the music and even daydreaming. Partaking in one or more of these activities while behind the wheel constitutes distracted driving, which is illegal in New York.

How to spot a distracted driver

Suppose you see the other driver holding their phone in front of their face or looking down, safely figure out how to get away. The brain can’t multitask and function at its best when doing two things simultaneously. Therefore the other driver is highly likely to cause motor vehicle accidents if they continue disregarding their safety and that of others.

Other signs of distracted driving are veering in and out of their lane, abruptly stopping or slowing down for no reason and not coming to a complete stop at stop signs. If you witness any of these behaviors, give that driver a wide berth.

What to do when you spot a distracted driver

The best thing to do when you see a distracted driver on the road is to call 911 and report the incident. Describe the car as best you can, including its make, model and license plate number.

The law enforcement officers who take your call will put out a broadcast to other officers in the area to be on the lookout for the car. If they spot it, they’ll make a traffic stop and address the driver’s distracted driving habits.

If you get into an accident with a distracted driver, and your injuries or vehicular damages exceed your insurance policy limit, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover any extra recompense you need. For example, if the accident got you out of work, the court may order the at-fault driver to compensate you for lost wages, as well as pain and suffering from the trauma that experience caused. The judge may also award punitive damages to prevent the driver from repeating their dangerous behavior.

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