The term “Distracted Driving” encompasses many unsafe driving behaviors. Generally, it includes anything that encourages the driver to take their eyes off of the road and/or think about something besides their important driving activities. All distractions have the potential to cause accidents and injuries or fatalities.
- Texting, emailing, or World Wide Web browsing
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Most states now have laws or are contemplating laws that ban some form of distracted driving.
Current New York Law
- All drivers are prohibited from talking and texting on cell phones while driving.
- The law prohibits drivers from using a cell phone, text messaging device, personal digital assistant (PDA), computer, or similar wireless device to write, send or read text data while driving.
- The ban applies to text messages, instant messages (IM), email and Internet data.
- The law's only exception is for emergency personnel contact. You can only call on your phone if it is for a strict emergency, such as dialing 911 or for police and fire personnel.
For the exact details of the law, reference https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/cell-phone-use-texting.
Apps to Prevent or Discourage Distractions to Driving
There are numerous smartphone apps that help you be less distracted while you drive. They generally fall into two camps. Those that prevent certain functions from working while you drive and those that measure your driving skills and give you feedback as to how often you distract yourself with your phone.