We’ve all seen distracted drivers. The teenage driver looking down at their phone trying to reply to a text message while simultaneously making a left turn. The parent reaching into the back seat to attend to their child, while simultaneously trying (unsuccessfully) to keep one eye on the road. The employee running late to work in the morning with their bagel sandwich in one hand and one hand on the wheel. Distracted drivers are everywhere and there have never been more distracted drivers on the road.
Distracted driving is dangerous, because it is by many measures the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. With our over 25 years of experience here in Rochester, New York, we at Parisi and Bellavia can definitively say that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Rochester. New York State data on car accidents in Monroe County proves that’s true. If you’ve been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver, we’re here to help. Call us today at 888-8000 or submit or our online form for a free consultation.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there were 3,142 people killed in the United States in 2019 as a result of distracted driving accidents. The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, taking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system – anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
Texting while driving is highlighted by the NHTSA as particularly dangerous as studies show that the average driver takes their eyes off the road for 5 sends per text. NHTSA cites that at 55 mph, a driver travels the length of an entire football field in just those five seconds.
In New York State specifically, we’ve seen a number of government measures to try and decrease the number of car accidents involving distracted drivers and crackdown on distracted drivers. The Democrat and Chronicle has reported that the New York State Police have labeled distracted driving a top activity to crackdown on as they issue tickets ranging from $50-$200. The New York State Department of Transportation has also added “texting zones” to New York State throughways in an effort to get distracted drivers off the road.
There are a number of ways that experienced trial lawyers, like our team at Parisi and Bellavia, can prove that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident.
One of the first pieces of evidence we’ll review at the time of an accident is the police report. The police report typically includes a description by the police officer of how an accident occurred including drawings of the cars’ positions and any witness statements. Sometimes an at-fault driver will admit that they were distracted at the time of the accident. For example, the driver may admit that they were talking on the phone at the time of the accident. Sometimes there may not be a witness statement, but it will be documented that the police officer issued a distracted driving ticket in connection with the accident. All of these examples are strong evidence in proving the negligence and liability of an at-fault party.
Even if an at-fault driver does not admit that they were negligent in a police report, we may be able to subpoena cell phone records that show that the defendant in the action was talking on the phone at the time of the accident.
As stated above, a police report may not contain a witness statement or admission, but it may include the name and contact information of a witness. Our experienced team of car accident lawyers works with a team of investigators who will follow up with eye witnesses to confirm whether they have additional information about how an accident occurred.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Rochester, NY contact Parisi and Bellavia, Rochester’s trusted car accident lawyers today. Our difference is that when you call us you get us and we’ve recovered millions in car accident settlements and trials for individuals injured here in Rochester. Let our family fight for yours.
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