DOT Launches National Campaign To Combat Distracted Driving

With the launch of a new campaign against distracted driving, the number of texting and driving accidents in NY will hopefully decline as the law cracks down on negligent motorists. The national crusade, which kicked off last month in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, was announced by the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seatbelt use,” said Secretary Foxx, adding “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the message you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Advertising campaign to combat distracted driving

In an attempt to caution the public of the dangers of texting while driving, and other types of distracted behavior, the campaign included radio, television and digital advertisements. Using innovative methods to identify and crack down on distracted drivers, law enforcement officials are hopeful the campaign will encourage more Americans to put down their cell phones and electronic devices and focus on the simple task of driving.  Ads ran in both Spanish and English, cautioning of the strict penalties involved for violating state distracted driving laws.

Estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in 2012 some 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

New York was the first state to ban the use of cell phones while driving. Passed into law in 2001, the bill outlaws drivers from using hand-held phones and other devices and prohibits the act of browsing the Internet, sending emails, or sending/ retrieving text messages. Forty two other states also ban drivers of all ages from texting.

Data from distracted driving programs in Delaware and California show that national ad campaigns, when paired with augmented police enforcement of distraction laws, reduced hand-held cell phone use among drivers.

To avoid a distracted driving accident in New York, motorists are advised to:

  • Turn off cell phones and electronic gadgets before driving
  • Show by example and speak with teenagers about the importance of responsible driving
  • If a passenger in a car that has a distracted driver, offer to make any phone calls so their attention can remain on the road
  • Be safe and wear your seat belt all times

New York distracted driving accident victims have rights

Those who violate NY distracted driving laws may face fines of more than $150 and get points on their license. Motorists who were texting, online or using their cell phone while driving can be sued for any property damages and injuries they cause.

If you were involved in a distracted driving accident and were injured due to another person’s negligence, the law is on your side. The NY personal injury lawyers at The Sanders Firm can outline your legal options during a free case evaluation. Our attorneys represent clients in all New York boroughs, including Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Long Island. To arrange your consultation, please call us toll-free at 1.800.FAIR PLAY (888.711.2392). Resources

  1. NHTSA, U.S. DOT Launches First-Ever National Distracted Driving Enforcement and Advertising Campaign,
  2. National Coalition for Safer Roads, U.S. DOT Launches First-Ever National Distracted Driving Campaign,