Distracted driving has become a major cause of car accidents in New Jersey, killing and injuring as many people as drunk driving and speeding. According to New Jersey State Police, distracted driving has been largely responsible for an increase in fatal car accidents.
In response to the surge in distracted driving accidents, law enforcement across New Jersey will be taking part in the nationwide “U Text, U Drive, U Pay” campaign. The effort to stop distracted driving will run through April 21. Authorities are hoping to mimic the success of the “Click It Or Ticket” campaign, which is credited with increasing seatbelt usage in New Jersey from 80 percent to the mid 90 percent range.
New Jersey knows that distracted driving has become a safety issue, and a recent survey conducted by the Rutgers NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center found that 90 percent of those questioned viewed it as a major problem. However, some research suggests that mobile phone use is not the only cause of distracted driving accidents.
What Are Other Reasons for Distracted Driving Accidents?
Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) found that distracted driving caused six out of ten serious accidents involving teenage drivers. The study by the AAAFTS gathered data by putting cameras in the cars of teenage drivers across the country and recording nearly 1,700 accidents. What makes this study so useful, is it shows evidence that mobile phone use is not the only cause behind distracted driving accidents.
The AAAFTS data shows that mobile phone use accounted for 12 percent of distracted driving accidents involving teenage drivers, while interacting with other passengers caused 15 percent. Actions such as grooming, singing or moving to music, reaching for an object and looking for something inside or outside of the vehicle accounted for an additional 39 percent.
Unfortunately, it is very likely that teenage drivers are not the only people that groom, look for objects or talk to other passengers while driving.
What Types of Injuries Do Distracted Driving Accidents Cause?
The issue of distracted driving is an important one because car and truck accidents are capable of causing catastrophic injuries to other drivers, in some cases leading to permanent disability. Looking at one of the causes of car accidents, such as mobile phone use, confirms this statement.
One major telecom company has the It Can Wait campaign, which features dozens of people that have been left with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries or killed after being hit by a driver that was texting.
Victims of distracted drivers might have the option to file a civil lawsuit. Car accident survivors can face long periods of rehabilitation and lost income. Hiring an attorney will help accident survivors receive the compensation that will be needed to make a recovery.
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Did You Know? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents.