We’ve all been guilty of it, even though we know it can be extremely dangerous. And admittingly, sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But for the rest of the month of April, you want to make sure you avoid it, because police across New York State are paying extra close attention.

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We’re now more attached to our phones than ever, and the consequences of our addiction are most obvious on our roadways. Have you ever arrived at your destination and realized you don’t even remember the drive, because you were busy chatting on the phone? And how ticked off do we get at the driver in front of us still sitting at a green light because they’re busy texting? 

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It isn’t just annoying traveling on the roads with drivers who aren’t paying attention - it can be deadly.

Distracted Driving The Biggest Cause Of Crashes In New York State

car crash

Distracted driving is hands down the highest contributing factor to car accidents in New York. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 32,000 deaths have occurred because of distracted driving incidents since 2012. 

And it doesn't have to be just using your phone- adjusting your music, eating or drinking, and doing your makeup while driving can all pull your focus away from the road and lead to a crash.

New York State Distracted Driving Fines

man texting while driving

In 2001, New York became the first state in the U.S. to make talking on hand-held phones while driving illegal, followed by texting in 2009. In fact, just glancing at a text, e-mail, website, or picture while holding your phone is illegal while driving in New York State.

If you’re caught using your phone while driving, you could have to pay a hefty fine - from $50 to $450 depending on the offense. 

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Even with these bans in place, it’s still not enough to prevent drivers from getting distracted by their phones on the road.

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month In New York State

Throughout the month of April, New York State drivers will see signs on the roadways warning drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Additionally, police will be out in full force looking for drivers who are texting and talking on the phone without using a hands-free device. 

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Gallery Credit: Megan Carter/Canva

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