The Dangers of Distracted Driving in New Jersey
With Labor Day weekend coming up, many Americans will be hitting the roads this week for various reasons: Returning to school, coming back from the Shore, or even just visiting family for a holiday barbecue. But be careful if you’re heading out – distracted driving is on the rise and is becoming just as dangerous and being on the road with a drunk driver.
According to a recent news article in the Independent, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Gary Poedubicky said distracted driving is “right on par” with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because the driver is paying attention to something other than the road, if a sudden hazard was to appear on the road, the driver’s reaction time would be slower than a person staying alert – much like how driving drunk can reduce a driver’s reaction time.
How much of an epidemic is distracted driving in New Jersey? It’s pretty bad if you look at the statistics. According to the fatal crash report from New Jersey State Police, in 2013 164 of 508 fatal automobile accidents in the state had driver inattention listed as a contributing factor. In fact, from 2003 to 2012, more than 1,600 people were killed in automobile crashed that were caused by distracted driving in New Jersey.
Although distracted driving can come from many activities, such as putting on makeup or eating food, the deadliest distraction definitely comes from texting behind the wheel. Not only are you looking at something other than the road, but your hands are engaged in something other than driving. But know that your text behind the wheel is an expensive one: If you are pulled over for texting while driving, you can receive a $200 fine for your first offense to an $800 fine and three points against your license for a third offense.
If you are involved in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, don’t hesitate. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.