Distracted driving is a leading cause of auto accidents in the US. While it may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to loads of problems for those on the road. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,841 people were killed and 400,000 people sustained injuries in vehicle crashes that involved distracted driving in 2018. It’s insane that something as simple as looking down at your phone can lead to disaster. It’s important to understand what distracted driving is so you don’t become part of the statistic.
What is distracted driving?
This is when a motorist performs other tasks which take his or her attention away from the road while they are behind the wheel. Moreover, these distractions may include using a smartphone or cell phone, texting, eating, or drinking, and using other hand-held devices like GPS or mp3 players. Other distractions include talking to passengers, reading maps, adjusting the radio, personal grooming, and adjusting climate controls. Since texting someone on the phone requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention from the motorist, it can be classified as the most dangerous activity that any motorist can perform behind the wheel.
For instance, a driver who is composing or reading a text message typically removes their eyes from the road for five seconds. Although 5 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, if the car is moving at a speed of 55mph, that is like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. If a motorist commits these offenses for the first time, they may be fined from $200 to $400. For a second offense, they may be fined cash from $400 to $600. If it’s a third or subsequent offense, they may be fined $600 to $800. In addition, they may get a possible 90-day license suspension.
New Jersey Cell Phone Laws
All motorists are not allowed to text or talk with a hand-held device while they are behind the wheel in New Jersey. It’s a law that was put in place to prevent any more damage. As much as it is fun to talk to your friends, you need to pay attention to the road at all times. However, a motorist may use a handheld device while they are operating a vehicle only if;
Their life is in danger
If the motorist believes that their life is in danger, or if they are about to become a victim of a criminal act. It is okay for them to reach out to their phone to make the necessary phone calls. There are loads of examples but if you are behind a driver driving erratically, sometimes you want to make the phone call. Law enforcement will understand that you were trying to protect others.
If they are reporting an emergency
If the motorist is reporting a; crash, fire, medical emergency, road hazard, or another motorist who is intoxicated. It’s important to reach out to emergency personnel as soon as possible. Sometimes that person may be behind the wheel and not have time to get out of their car. This is an understandable moment to use your hand-held device. These situations can be time sensitive so if someone can make that phone call, even if they are driving, then it is suggested that they do so.
What are My Legal Options After a Collision?
If you have been involved in a crash with a motorist in NJ, you can file a claim for no-fault insurance to seek benefits from your own insurance company to cover your medical treatment. You can also seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance if the sum of the total losses exceeds your insurance policy maximum. In addition, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and recover expenses if your insurance company cannot compensate you for the whole sum of your damages like lost wages, medical treatment, and lost property.
In conclusion, there are many leading causes of collisions in NJ like using a smartphone or cell phone, texting, eating, or drinking, and using other hand-held devices like GPS or mp3 players while behind the wheel. If a motorist is found operating their vehicles negligently, they may face fines and their driving licenses may be suspended. It’s important to always keep your eyes on the road. While it is easy to get distracted, try everything in your power to look forward. Distracted driving kills, and it’s easy to not be one of the many victims.