Although most drivers have the best of intentions when they get behind the wheel, it’s easy to become distracted and take your eyes off the road. Whether it’s a phone call, a text, or a crying child in the back seat, distractions like these can cause catastrophic crashes. Our personal injury lawyers at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman have witnessed the tragic results of distracted driving accidents. They believe that understanding what driver distraction is and how you can avoid it can help you stay safer on the road.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The act of driving requires focus, attention, coordination, and split-second decision making. When a motorist takes their eyes, hands, or mind off driving, they’re much more likely to be involved in an accident. Many common activities that people perform behind the wheel can lead to distracted driving accidents, including:
- Using a mobile device to text or talk on the phone
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup or other personal grooming
- Adjusting the stereo, temperature controls, or other devices
- Using a GPS device
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children or pets in the car
- Reaching for something on the floor
- Looking at passing scenery, billboards, and signs
New Jersey Distracted Driving Statistics & Law
Any activity you engage in while driving is a potential distraction and increases your risk of becoming involved in a serious accident. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, in 2018, a total of 1,372 crashes were caused by drivers using their cell phones. Distracted driving was also the leading cause of fatal crashes in New Jersey in 2018.
The State of New Jersey has some of the most stringent distracted driving laws in the country. Penalties for texting or talking on the phone while driving involve hefty fines. Drivers are not permitted to use handheld devices, such as mobile phones or tablets unless they’re in hands-free mode. School bus drivers, motorists under the age of 21, and new drivers with learner’s permits are not allowed to use electronic devices at all, even in hands-free mode.
Types of Distracted Driving Accidents
Rear-end collisions — Distracted driving often results in one car hitting the back of another. Depending on the rate of speed and size of the vehicles involved, these types of distracted driving accidents can range from minor to severe. Some common injuries sustained in rear-end collisions include whiplash, various neck, spine, and back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, and facial lacerations. When a rear-end crash occurs at a high rate of speed, the results can be deadly.
T-bone accidents — Side-impact crashes are another common type of distracted driving accident. They often happen at intersections when a motorist fails to stop at a red light or stop sign or doesn’t see other cars approaching when turning left. Although checking a quick text may seem harmless, taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds can result in a side-impact crash that can have devastating consequences, such as traumatic brain injury, broken or crushed bones, spinal injuries, and internal organ damage.
Head-on collisions — Front-to-front vehicle crashes are also associated with distracted driving. The simple act of leaning down to pick something up off the floor can easily lead to a driver veering into oncoming traffic. The force of two vehicles hitting head-on can be fatal. Like other distracted driving accidents, catastrophic injuries sustained in these types of crashes can be life-altering.
Keeping Your Focus Can Keep You Safe
Although reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for just five seconds, at 55 miles per hour, you can cover the length of an entire football field. Even using a hands-free Bluetooth device to talk or text can be dangerous. The best way to protect yourself and others is to keep your undivided attention on the task of driving.
Contact A New Jersey Auto Accident Attorney to Learn More
At Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman, we understand that the aftermath of a distracted driving accident can be overwhelming. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one, our skilled, compassionate personal injury lawyers are here to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
To schedule a complimentary consultation or ask questions, contact us online, use our website’s chat feature, or call 201-798-2711 in Jersey City or 973-874-0556 in Newfoundland, NJ. We also serve clients in West Milford, Kinnelon, Vernon, Jefferson, and throughout the state of New Jersey. Se habla Español.