Manhattan Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

There were 1,596 motor vehicle collisions in Manhattan in June 2022. These accidents injured 718 people and killed one. The New York Police Department attributed 553 of the almost 1,600 crashes to driver inattention and distractions.

The laws in New York that govern financial responsibility in car accidents are difficult for most people to understand, and receiving favorable compensation amounts from insurance companies is often challenging. Fortunately, the attorneys at Cellino Law can help you overcome both issues.

What Is Distracted Driving?

To safely operate a motor vehicle, drivers must focus on the road and traffic conditions so they can make directional or speed adjustments if necessary. Anything that takes attention away from those things is a distraction. Some of the most common forms of distracted driving are:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Interacting with passengers or pets
  • Fixing hair or putting on makeup
  • Adjusting car systems
  • Looking or reaching for an object in the car
  • Daydreaming
  • Listening to music at high volumes or by using earbuds or headphones
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking

As you can see, these distractions fall into several categories: auditory, cognitive, manual, and visual. Some of these activities are in multiple categories, adding additional risk.

Why Is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?

Distracted driving is a major cause of car collisions. To understand why it’s so dangerous, you need to learn about driving response times, braking distances, vehicle stopping distances, and what they mean to safety.

Driver Response Times

Suppose you’re paying attention to traffic and see brake lights ahead of you. You’ll follow these steps to avoid hitting that car:

  • Process the lights and what they mean: the vehicle is braking.
  • Realize you might need to take action, such as changing lanes or applying your brakes.
  • Decide what you’ll do.
  • Begin to steer in a different direction and move your foot from the gas pedal (or floorboard if you’re using cruise control), place it on the brake pedal, and start pushing down.

The time it takes for you to complete these steps is your reaction time. Remember that your car won’t begin to change course or speed until you’ve finished.

You’re right if you think those things don’t take long. However, your car is traveling at your original speed and direction during the process, and the distance you can cover in one second might surprise you:

  • 30 mph = 44 feet/ second
  • 50 mph = 73 feet/ second
  • 60 mph = 88 feet/ second
  • 70 mph = 103 feet/ second

The average driver’s reaction time is 2.5 seconds. If their speed is 70 miles per hour, their vehicle travels a little more than a football field’s distance in that time.

Braking Distance

Several factors can affect how far a vehicle travels once the driver applies brakes:

  • The vehicle’s weight
  • Road conditions (wet, icy, rough, flat, steep)
  • Your original speed
  • The car’s braking performance (sluggish, prompt)
  • The amount of pressure the driver uses

Assuming that a car in good condition is on dry pavement, the following shows the distance the vehicle travels before stopping once the driver brakes:

  • 30 mph = 45 feet
  • 50 mph = 125 feet
  • 60 mph = 180 feet
  • 70 mph = 245 feet

Vehicle Stopping Distance

The distance an automobile travels from when the driver begins to process those brake lights until it comes to a complete stop combines those distances. Allowing only one second of driver reaction time (which is below average), a car going at 70 mph needs 348 feet to stop.

Distracted Driving

Drivers who are looking at their phones or are otherwise distracted likely won’t notice those brake lights as soon as those who pay attention. People may blow their horns, but you won’t hear them if your music is too loud. Distracted drivers can lose seconds, and it’s often too late to avoid a collision once they realize they should take action.

Is Distracted Driving Considered Negligent Behavior?

Personal injury claims after car accidents caused by distracted driving revolve around negligence. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle has a duty of care to drive safely to reduce the risk of harming themselves or others. Driving while distracted definitely isn’t driving safely.

Let’s say that Joe was texting while driving and caused an accident that produced injuries. To prove negligence, you must show that:

  • Joe had a duty of care (driving safely)
  • Joe breached that duty of care (texting while driving)
  • You sustained injuries in an accident
  • Joe’s failure to uphold his duty of care (texting while driving) caused the accident and your injuries

In New York, however, Joe’s negligence doesn’t always mean you can recover damages from him. Ask your distracted driving car accident attorney from Cellino Law about your options.

What Are New York’s Laws Governing Car Accidents?

Several New York laws and regulations determine how much compensation you can receive if a car crash injures you and who must pay.

No-Fault Insurance

New York is a no-fault state, meaning that the law requires drivers to carry at least $50,000 of personal injury protection insurance. Suppose you sustain injuries in an auto accident. In that case, your PIP coverage pays your medical bills, lost wages, and certain other daily expenses directly related to your injury, up to your policy limit. If your insurance is enough to cover your economic losses, you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit in most cases.

There are some exceptions to that rule. If your injury satisfies New York’s severe injury threshold, you can seek compensation from the driver who caused your accident:

  • 90 days of total disability
  • Bodily function limitations
  • Bone fractures or dislocations
  • Eminent disfigurement
  • Permanent injuries to your limbs

If the expenses caused by your injury total over $50,000 or your injury is classified as severe, you can seek additional damages in a personal injury claim. Call Cellino Law to see if you’re eligible and to find out how much you might receive.

Pure Comparative Fault

At times, more than one person contributes to causing a car accident. New York uses pure comparative fault, meaning you can seek compensation even if you possess a 99% degree of fault. However, your percentage of responsibility directly affects how much you can recover.

If you are 25% at fault, you can only recover 75% of the total damages. The law reduces your compensation by your fault percentage. Because of this, many people hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to prove their clients were only minimally responsible for the car crash.

Statute of Limitations

You have three years to file a personal injury claim in most instances. This may change due to the circumstances in your case, so don’t wait to contact Cellino Law to be sure you don’t miss the deadline for filing.

Why Choose Cellino Law?

Cellino Law firms have represented injured New Yorkers since 1958. We focus on personal injury law, so we thoroughly understand the laws, types of evidence required, and how to successfully negotiate maximum settlement offers for our clients. We’ll also take your case to court if necessary.

Let us put our extensive experience and resources to work for you. We’ll come to you if you are seriously injured, and you won’t pay us any fees unless we win money for you. Contact us 24/7 for your free case review.



Free Case Review



  • My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a fantastic job as our attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the work you and your team has done on this case. This past four years or so has been such a roller coaster for our family. We are very pleased and grateful with the result. We have made a good choice by choosing you. Thank you.


  • This letter is to thank Ms. Diane D’Andrea, assistant to Mr. George Gridelli, Attny for all the hard work, dedication, and attentiveness she showed during the representation of my case. She was always cheerful and ready to help in whatever way she could. All messages left for Mr. Gridelli were always relayed and Mr. Gridelli always promptly returned our calls. She was a very competent assistant. Cellino Law has proven to be a model of what legal representation should be. Throughout the 6 ½ years of this case, I have heard many horror stories from people with “bad lawyer stories.” We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have chosen Cellino Law and will always recommend you to those looking for good, honest representation with a personal touch.


  • Mark Kochanowicz is from far the best attorney you can have. Mark treats you like a friend more than a client. He truly cares and go the extra mile for you and your case, contacts you to update you in regards to your case and keep you informed at all times. Mark represented me twice and settled my cases for way more than I expected. I highly recommend Mark Kochanowicz because he is just the best on what he does!!! Thank you Mark!!!!


  • Cellino Law was a great company to work with. From the beginning they came out and met with my uncle and myself and assured us that everything would be taken care of from beginning to end our lawyer state and constant contact with us to make sure that everything would go smoothly and it did. I would definitely recommend anybody to go to Cellino Law for whatever help they need. And specifically please ask for the lawyer that we had Mr. Alan Silverstein. He was amazing and his staff was always attentive. Please go with them for your next law needs.


  • I am writing to let you know what an outstanding job George Gridelli did for me in my personal injury lawsuit. His professionalism and expertise were evident at our first metting and he and his paralegal Diane D'Andrea took care of me as if I was a friend and not merely a client. They both went above and beyond for me in so many ways that it would be too numerous to list and I am grateful to have had such an exemplary team represent me. When working with George and watching him in court he personified to me what a lawyer is supposed to be - an honest, extremely compentent man who helped guide me through the legal system. I could not have obtained better representation anywhere else at any price. To me that says a lot abut you and your firm's integrity. Thank you again for representing me and for having such stellar individuals working for you! I will continue to recommend your firm.


  • I am so grateful for your expertise, patience, and perseverance which resulted with such a successful settlement regarding my car accident. I also want to let you know how impressed I was with you and your firm and I won't hesitate to recommend you to anyone who needs assistance from an accident. I truly appreciated your care and professionalism. Thank you again for your kindness and support