Teach your teen about the dangers of distracted driving

New York will soon implement enhanced penalties for teenage distracted drivers.

When a teenager first gets his or her driver's license, parents are likely to worry about many hazards on the road. According to a recent report, distracted driving should be at the top of every parent's list of concerns.

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently reported that teenage drivers are the group most likely to be distracted when a fatal motor vehicle accident occurs. In addition, of those killed in distracted driving crashes caused by teen motorists, 57 percent were the teenagers behind the wheel, according to the report.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of motorists under 20 year of age were distracted when they caused a deadly motor vehicle accident in the United States.

In New York, action has been taken to reduce the frequency of teen distracted driving crashes. As of November 1, 2014, the penalties for those under 21 years of age who drive while distracted will increase. When a teen driver is caught driving while distracted, a first offense will lead to a 120-day suspension of his or her license. Upon a second offense, the driver's license will be suspended for one year.

NYPD cracks down on distracted driving

In addition to the upcoming enhanced penalties, police officers in New York have been focusing on enforcing distracted driving laws in the state.

During a two-week enforcement period, police officers issued 1,937 citations for distracted driving. Over just the Labor Day holiday weekend, police officers in New York issued 310 citations for distracted driving.

The danger of distracted driving crashes in New York

New York has other regulations in place to protect motorists from distracted drivers.

For instance, all drivers in New York are prohibited from texting while on the road. In addition, New York motorists are banned from using handheld cellphones while behind the wheel.

These laws are meant to curb the number of distracted driving crashes in New York. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,328 people lost their lives in distracted driving collisions in the United States in 2012. The same year, 421,000 people suffered injuries in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers.

When a distracted driver collides with another motorist, the damage caused can be severe. Individuals who are injured in distracted driving crashes should seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. A legal professional will work on behalf of the person injured in the crash, to make certain his or her interests are protected.

Keywords: New York, distracted driving, auto accident