It’s the anniversary of the October Storm this week. Remember that unsettling time in 2006?

This year, we’re lucky to be enjoying a beautiful, mostly-sunny autumn. So before the heavy snow and cold wind hits New York, we’ll get to experience the gorgeous leaves. People, affectionately called “leafers,” come from all over to look at New York’s bold colors. Sites like iloveny.com even maintain a map that details when the leaves will be at peak.

If you’re off on a road trip to look at leaves, it might be tempting to focus on them instead of the road, but you should know that distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing dangers on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers who look away from the road for two seconds or more will double their risk of a crash. This behavior includes looking away from the road to look at the leaves. Also, if a driver engages in a secondary task, like talking or texting on his phone, he is two to three times more likely to be involved in an accident.

There are more distractions than just leaves. Distractions could be personal, internal, or external distractions. Personal distractions are caused by the driver. These types of distractions include daydreaming, being drunk or high, using a phone, or reading something. Internal distractions happen in the car and usually are caused by passengers, animals, or objects in the car. External distractions occur outside the car, like other drivers, weather, and even the scenery. Those colorful leaves again!

Although distracted driving may not be the deadliest source for a car accident, according to the NHTSA, 80% of car accidents in New York are caused by driver inattention, making them the most prevalent. We often hear about the dangers of using our phone while driving but remember that there are many other ways to be distracted while driving. Losing attention for two seconds is all it takes for a crash to occur, so when you find yourself in awe of the changing colors of the leaves – be sure to pull over.

If you or someone you love has been in a car accident, The Coppola Firm is here to help. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you navigate through your claim.