Some New York drivers may be distracted by their smartphones or by devices in their cars while they are behind the wheel. Many safety experts blame distracted drivers for the rise in traffic fatalities. Distractions can include making adjustments in the car such as temperature control as well as any actions that lead to drivers looking away from the road.

Increasingly, apps and smartphone features are available to help reduce driver distraction. It may be possible to block alerts or get apps that will automatically reply to texts or emails. However, all of these are voluntary. According to Consumer Reports, drivers should keep the phone out of sight to avoid temptation.

Cars themselves are simultaneously becoming safer and more distracting. Technology such as collision and lane departure warning systems and automatic braking systems have made cars safer, but increasingly, cars also come with so-called “infotainment” systems that create additional distractions. Consumer Reports says the best strategy is to stay focused on the road and to not let go of the steering wheel.

A driver may cause a motor vehicle accident for a number of reasons including distraction. Other drivers or passengers may suffer serious injuries, and usually, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is supposed to cover the injured person’s expenses. However, there may be complications. The driver might not be insured. The person might suffer a brain injury, whiplash or another type of injury in which symptoms are not immediately apparent. This could cause the insurance company to deny an injured person’s claim on the grounds that the injury was not caused by the accident. Therefore, a person who is injured in a car accident might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation.