Car accidents involving cell phones double could bring tougher penalties

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)– In the last 10 years, accidents in New York involving cell phone use has gone up 86%, according to state data, and legal experts say this could mean tougher penalties for drivers caught breaking the law.

Richard Boroski is a driving instructor at the ABC School of Driving. He says more and more of his time is devoted to teaching students about the dangers of distracted driving.

He warns students about the challenges of everything from GPS devices, to temperature controls, and especially cell phones.

“Whenever someone gets in an accident, it seems they always say it happened so fast. And the reason it happened so fast is because they weren’t aware of what was about to happen and that could have been from a distraction,” said Richard Boroski, an instructor at the ABC School of Driving.

In 2009 in New York state, there were 650 accidents involving cell phone use or texting while driving. By 2018 those numbers have nearly doubled, increasing to 1,212.

Traffictickets.com is a division of Rosenblumlaw. Founding attorney Adam Rosenblum, says as accidents have gone up, so have the legal consequences.

“The points have definitely continued to get more and more strict at this point. If you get a texting or cell phone conviction your actually looking at the same number of points as a reckless driving ticket, believe it or not which, is 5,” said Adam Rosenblum, founding attorney of Rosenblumlaw.

For young drivers, Rosenblum says technology surprisingly does not seem to be an issue, as younger drivers were found to get caught speeding more than texting.

“May be that the use of these technologies is so second nature to them they’re just not simply as distracting for younger people, who also have much quicker reflexes than older people, so that may also be some of it,” said Rosenblum.

Accidents involving cell phone use are preventable, and Boroski’s biggest tips for drivers are focus and anticipation.

“If you anticipate more and make your driving smooth, everything happens smoother, everything happened more gently,” said Boroski.

The full study, including data on Monroe County traffic violations, can be found here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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