Many states across the country specifically outlaw texting and driving, which includes instant messaging as well as other internet use while behind the wheel. However, New York takes the matter a step further by banning handheld electronic devices, including cell phones.
In other words, a driver in White Plains, New York, can be pulled over and given a fine even for using a cell phone to make a conventional call. While the penalty might not be as steep as it is for texting and driving, a motorist can still have to pay $150 each time he or she is caught using a handheld cell phone.
Hands-free phones, that is, devices that allow a motorist to keep both hands on the wheel, are permitted for the making of phone calls. There are also exceptions for emergency calls to 911.
Of course, laws and fines alone do not solve New York’s distracted driving problems, as many people will take the risk if they feel that a phone call or even a text message is important. As many New Yorkers can probably guess, these distracted drivers can easily cause serious car accidents. These accidents can leave victims suffering with a severe or even debilitating personal injury.
The fact New York has a law banning cell phone use while driving can be helpful to victims when making their cases for compensation. Victims can use another driver’s violation of this law as proof that they were indeed negligent and thus owe the victim compensation.
Of course, there is more to making one’s case than just proving negligence, as a victim will also have to document and prove his or her damages. A skilled personal injury attorney can be very helpful in this respect.