What are manual distractions while driving?

 Manual distractions are when you take one or both of your hands off the steering wheel in order to do something else. These kinds of distractions are very dangerous as they limit your reaction time.

What is a manual distraction?

 Manual distractions while driving include changing the radio, holding a cell phone, eating, drinking, or smoking. All of these actions require you to take at least one hand off of the steering wheel.

How can manual distractions cause car accidents?

 When a driver does not have both hands on the steering wheel, they are no longer in complete control of the car. If you need to make a quick reaction, having both hands able and ready is crucial. Manual distractions while driving make you less than fully in control of your car, which may cause a collision.

Laws on distracted driving

 Distracted driving is strictly prohibited by law. New York Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1225(d) prohibits any driver from using a handheld cell phone or other device while driving. This doesn’t just prohibit phone calls, but also texting and playing games on your phone while you’re driving. You may only talk while driving using the “hands free” system within your vehicle.

Distracted driving penalties in New York

 Penalties vary depending on the circumstances of your distracted driving citation. However, if you are texting or talking while holding your phone while driving you can expect to be given a fine and also receive 5 points on your license. If you get another texting violation within 18 months, this fine will most likely increase, and you will again have points applied to your license. If you have a third instance within 18 months this may warrant you having your license suspended in addition to another fine.

Improving your driving and avoiding distractions

 Distracted driving is extremely dangerous not only to yourself but also other drivers on the road. Do not allow yourself to engage in manual distractions at all, as they could cost you or your peers serious injuries or death. Texting and calling can wait until you are no longer driving. Make your car a text-free zone.