Senator Murphy: Distracted driving is a Killer

Sen. Murphy attempts to navigate the road in Allstate's Reality Rides demo.

Albany, NY - Safety experts have estimated that more than 40,000 people died in accidents in 2016, making it the most deadly year on America's roads since 2007. Distracted driving is now responsible for more deaths than drunk driving. Those factors alone prove that now more than ever, it is important to prevent distracted driving.
Senator Terrence Murphy re-emphasized the need for more effective deterrents to prevent accidents and fatalities on the road yesterday at a Reality Rides Distracted Driving press conference held at the Capitol Building in Albany.
"It has been estimated that text messaging can take a driver's eyes off of the road for up to five seconds. That is like driving the equivalent of a football field with your eyes closed," said Senator Murphy. "We have put a great deal of emphasis on drinking and driving. We have to put the same amount effort into reducing accidents involving texting and other road distractions. We have the technology, a Textalyzer, that can give police officers a better idea as to how an accident occurred. We need to pass this legislation in order to protect our communities and families."
The event brought together many of the advocates for Evan's Law, including Senator Murphy, Senator Joseph Robach, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Ellen Melchionni, President of the New York State Insurance Association, and Allstate agency owner John Lofrumento. Allstate supplied a pair of Reality Rides Drive simulators, which drove home the point that distracted driving is dangerous driving. The Senators and Assemblyman noted it only took a few minutes to rack up half a dozen infractions - even without the distraction of having a phone by their side.
Distracted driving cost Ben Lieberman his son, Evan. He was a passenger, strapped in the back seat of a vehicle driven by a driver who was too busy texting to pay attention to the road. Hearing Evan's story, Senator Terrence Murphy began working with Lieberman and and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz to create and implement a new law, known as "Evan's Law," that could go a long way in protecting innocent people from injuries caused by distracted driving.
A key part of the legislation involved the Textalyzer technology that will allow police officers to detect whether or not a driver was using their phone around the time of an accident without assessing the driver's personal records.
Click here to watch Senator Murphy's remarks.