Drivers who make the decision to put themselves and others at risk by texting, sending emails or talking on the phone must be held responsible for any harm they cause.
Newark, N.J. (PRWEB) April 04, 2013
A recent study that shows distracted driving deaths rose 22 percent from 2005 to 2009 – a period in which auto fatalities overall declined – should spur new measures to discourage texting and talking on cell phones, Newark car accident lawyer Joseph A. Ginarte said today.
The study, “Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving,” found that cell phone-related crash deaths exceed 3,000 each year, and injuries top 300,000.
“Distracted driving has become a national epidemic,” said Ginarte, the founder of Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, a law firm that serves New Jersey and New York. “This is so despite stricter laws regulating cell phone use and a widespread public awareness effort.”
The researchers, whose work appeared in the March 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, said in a news release that the problem will get worse before it gets better.
“Young drivers are at greatest risk, both because they use cell phones more than older drivers, and because they are inexperienced behind the wheel,” said Jeffrey H. Coben, M.D., who co-authored the study with colleague Motao Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., at West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center. “I see this problem only getting worse unless more is done to prevent it.”
The paper cites a survey in which 40 percent of drivers said they talk on cell phones at least a few times a week, and 13 percent admit to texting behind the wheel. The biggest offenders are young people, who have grown up with mobile devices.
“Solving this problem will require new approaches,” Coben said. “My hope is that 10 years from now, there will be systems built into all automobiles that disable all hand-held devices when the car is in motion, allow only hands-free phone usage and convert incoming text messages to voice and outgoing voice commands to text using hands-free voice recognition technology.”
Ginarte, whose firm represents car accident victims in New York and New Jersey, joined the authors in calling for new tactics to combat distracted driving. He said one effective way is to make sure that drivers who choose to talk or text while driving are held accountable for their actions.
“It boils down to a matter of individual choice,” he said. “Drivers who make the decision to put themselves and others at risk by texting, sending emails or talking on the phone must be held responsible for any harm they cause.”
People in New Jersey and New York who have been injured by a distracted driver– and the families of those who are killed – should consult with a qualified car accident lawyer to learn about their legal rights and options, Ginarte said.
“Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience fighting for those who have suffered a loss because of someone else’s careless or negligent conduct,” he said. “We are here to help victims of distracted driving.”
About Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP
For more than 30 years, Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP, has served the residents of the New Jersey and New York metro area. The firm assists clients with legal claims arising from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice and other personal injury cases. The firm also represents clients in employment discrimination, Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation matters. The Ginarte law firm features offices located in New York City, Queens, Newark, Elizabeth, Clifton, Union City and Perth Amboy. The firm’s Newark office is located at 400 Market Street, Newark, NJ 07105 (local phone (973) 854-8400). The firm can assist Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking clients. To learn more, call 1-888-GINARTE or use the firm’s online contact form.