How many times have you seen a car zip by you while the driver is clearly looking down at a mobile device instead of the road? Or a driver who runs a red light while taking a big gulp of a coffee? Or a car packed with people blasting music and unable to hear emergency sirens?
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and distracted driving is rightfully on everyone’s minds. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as:
“…any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
Distracted Driving Statistics
NJ distracted driving facts are alarming and concern everyone, whether you’re a driver or passenger or how short your drive may be. Some distracted driving facts regarding NJ and the U.S. include:
- In New Jersey, distracted driving is the number 1 cause of fatal crashes, accounting for nearly a quarter of deadly motor vehicle crashes in the state.
- In 2018, there were approximately 400,000 people injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers in the U.S.
- In New Jersey, there were over 22,000 car accidents caused by distracted driving in 2019.
- Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, as it involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.
- In New Jersey, it is illegal to text while driving, and those caught doing so can be fined up to $400.
- Distracted driving is not just limited to texting and using a phone. It can also include activities such as eating, drinking, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, and more.
- Distracted driving is preventable and everyone has a responsibility to avoid engaging in distracting activities while behind the wheel.
- According to Atlantic Highlands Herald, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) reported the results of a 2021 study that found at any given time, one in five drivers on selected high-crash corridors in New Jersey were driving distracted.
- A study by Rowan University experts found that New Jersey is among five states with the highest traffic deaths caused by distracted driving.
The NHTSA advises that drivers should never take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds at a time. In a recent New York Times article, a spokesman for the Auto Alliance, a manufacturers’ trade group, echoed those sentiments: “The odds of a crash double if your eyes are off the road for more than two seconds.”
NJ Distracted Driving Facts In Plain Sight
Head-on collisions in these areas will continue due to the deadly combination of inadequate lane dividers and distracted driving. In fact, several of our clients have come to us due to an injury or crash that occurred on these roadways and distracted driving was a factor.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a distracted driving injury in New Jersey, you need an experienced lawyer to communicate with the insurance companies, investigate the cause of the incident, obtain videos and cell phone records, identify witnesses, prove who was at fault and properly evaluate and present your injuries to ensure you receive maximum compensation.