The number of car crashes in the United States is rising at the fastest clip in 50 years, according to a spokesperson for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), who spoke at a National Transportation Safety Board meeting in late April.
PCI noted that the number of car crashes rose 14% in 2014, while severe car accidents rose more than 12%. Pedestrian fatalities climbed even more in the same period, by 22%.
The blame was placed squarely on distracted driving. The spokesperson noted that smartphone ownership has doubled over the past five years, and that InsurTech, an insurance technology concern, has reported that Netflix and YouTube are two of the 10 most frequently used apps on smartphones while people are driving.
Concerns about distracted driving stemming from smartphone use has been on the rise for nearly a decade. Many states have enacted laws against it, New York among them.
In New York state, it is against the law to drive and hold a portable electronic device such as a smartphone. This is true whether you are viewing apps, texting, e-mailing, playing games, viewing images, or talking on the phone. Violations are punishable with fines and points assessed on a driver’s license.
The PIA’s assessment is not universally shared, however. A spokesperson for the Consumer Federation of America was quoted in Bloomberg BNA as blaming the rise in accidents on an economy reviving from the Great Recession, which has give people more disposable income to spend on gas and driving.
New York No-Fault Laws
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to any vehicle collision. Any medical claim, under no-fault, it generally paid by your insurance no matter who was at fault for the accident.
However, New York state does allow accident victims to step outside of no-fault if the accident has caused certain injuries or conditions. In these cases, victims could bring a suit for damages on the basis of personal injury law or liability.
The injuries and conditions are:
- Disfigurement that is significant
- Broken bone(s)
- An injury to a body organ or limb that resulted in permanent limitation of use
- An injury to a body function or system that resulted in significant limitation
- An injury that caused substantially full disability for 90 days
Car accident lawyers in Long Island
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned attorneys in vehicle crash laws in New York state. We can help in any vehicle accident. But because distracted driving law is complicated, it is prudent to consult a lawyer if you or a loved one believe distracted driving is at issue. We will fight for a decent and just settlement.
Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what next steps could be. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned Long Island car accident lawyer today.
Additional “Traffic Safety” Resources:
- National Safety Council, Top Things Drivers are Doing That Threaten Safety http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=191
- Bloomberg, CAR CRASHES RISING AT FASTEST RATE IN DECADES: INSURANCE GROUPS