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Split-second driving decisions that kill

One of the first things we learn in driver's ed is the importance of focus. Our instructors tell us to pay attention to the road and be aware of our surroundings when we drive. This is because these instructors know how common it is to find ourselves thinking of other things. A driver focusing on a discussion with passengers, something that fell on the floor or a song on the radio may easily miss a turn, an exit or a change in the traffic pattern.

Poor driving decision leads to teen's death

This millisecond lapse in attention can lead to deadly results. In a recent example in New York, a distracted driver missed an exit. They made a split-second decision to drive over a grass-covered median to double back to the exit. Unfortunately, the vehicle flipped and crashed into a cement wall.

A backseat passenger, a talented young woman who was scheduled to attend an elite summer program at Harvard University, was thrown from the vehicle and later died. The driver and two other passengers were seriously injured.

Is failing to focus while driving illegal in New York?

Distracted driving is not just dangerous, it is also illegal. State law requires drivers to operate their vehicles with care. They are responsible for the safety of their passengers, other drivers, pedestrians and anyone on or near the road.

Failure to pay attention to ones driving is one of the more common causes of tragic accidents. Other common causes include:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving too fast for current road conditions
  • Reckless driving

Drivers can be held legally responsible if a failure to drive safely results in death or injury.

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