The Dangers Of Distracted Driving in New Jersey
Many New Jersey drivers continue to engage in texting while driving, despite proof of the dangers and the possibility of criminal charges. They continue believing that they are in control until they cause a crash, hurting themselves or their passengers or innocent strangers.
Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver who was preoccupied with a cellphone or otherwise distracted, our law firm will aggressively pursue justice. Smith Magram Michaud Colonna, P.C., has recovered millions of dollars for victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout Burlington County, Camden County and South Jersey.
Texting While Driving And Other Reckless Behavior
We have seen the trend in recent years of drivers who are so absorbed and distracted that they collide with other vehicles: veering out of their lane or off the road, failing to notice traffic signals or rear-ending another car. We handle all types of injuries (major or minor), but these accidents often result in greater harm because the distracted driver didn’t hit the brakes or the victim did not have any chance to react.
Texting while driving is by far the most dangerous; the driver’s eyes and hands and mind are diverted from the task of piloting the vehicle. Studies suggest that sending or reading text messages impairs a driver’s awareness and reactions as much as intoxication. Other distractions can be very risky — shaving or applying makeup, reading, changing the music, reaching into the back seat, having pets on the dashboard or the front seat.
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable
Under New Jersey’s new law, a text messaging driver can face up to 10 years in prison for a bodily injury accident. However, the criminal penalties do not address your losses. Our law firm is concerned with the civil lawsuit against the recklessly distracted driver and corresponding claims against the driver’s insurance or your own policy (if the driver is not insured or underinsured).
You are not entitled to extra compensation for a texting-related crash. However, proving that the driver was texting or otherwise inattentive can be important if there was a question of who was at fault or who had the right-of-way. By establishing the clear negligence of the other driver, we will have better leverage for a good settlement or damning evidence before a jury.
New Jersey Teenagers And Distracted Driving
New Jersey residents might be interested to learn about a new study looking into teenage driving distractions. Researchers at Oregon State University say that about 40 percent of teenagers who were surveyed admitted that they send or receive text messages while they drive. The findings are apparently positive, as some earlier studies had showed higher percentages.
In addition to surveying teens on their driving habits, authors of the study held interactive drivers education classes in high schools. By demonstrating the difficulty of multitasking in various scenarios, the instructors taught teens about the dangers of driving distractions. Although awareness campaigns about texting while driving have been effective, the lead author of the study said that teens should learn that other driving distractions can be very risky as well.
How To Avoid Distracted Driving
With the increasing number of traffic deaths in New Jersey and across America, some experts believe that more measures must be taken to prevent distracted driving. Consumer Reports has shown that smartphones provide the most distractions since drivers can use them to text, send emails, search the internet, play music and watch videos. A Consumer Reports survey revealed that 52 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in these activities while behind the wheel.
The important thing is for drivers to avoid looking away from the road. Adjusting the temperature and playing with the vehicle’s infotainment system can also increase the risk of an accident occurring. Many states have a texting ban in place for drivers, and such laws must also be followed.
Distracted drivers also have the benefit of new technology to keep them safe. Automakers are beginning to incorporate lane departure and collision warning systems as well as automatic emergency braking systems into their vehicles.
Local Attorneys With Decades Of Experience
Our law firm has served surrounding New Jersey since 1965. We have a consistent record of favorable results and a reputation for excellent service to our clients. Our lawyers handle all cases on a contingency fee, so there are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation through negotiation or filing a lawsuit.
Call 609-589-0649 toll free for a free initial consultation with our Burlington distracted driving accident attorneys or contact us online. We can arrange home or hospital room visits if you are too injured to come to our office.