Texting & Driving: Deadly and Illegal

New York State means business with violators of the new anti-texting and driving law. Law officers now have the right to stop and cite offenders of the state’s electronic distracted driving laws.  The new law, passed in July 2011, will help ensure that drives keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.  Last week The Department of Transportation issued a statement that it is considering a new rule to ban the nation’s 3.7 million commercial drivers from talking on cell phones; last year it banned them from texting.  “It’s just too dangerous,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who described himself as being “on a rampage” on the subject. To help spread the word, Finkelstein & Partners has partnered up with Cumulus of the Hudson Valley radio stations to build awareness about the dangers and deadly consequences of texting while driving. To learn more about our public service campaign, visit the Commit to Quit! Don’t Text & Drive page on our website. Some shocking facts: Research shows that using a cell phone and/or texting while driving significantly increases the risk of an accident. Here are some surprising facts that every driver should review before thinking about answering their phone or replying to a text message the next time you are driving:

  • 20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)

Source: http://handsfreeinfo.com/new-york-cell-phone-laws-legislation

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP