Texting and driving is perhaps one of the most dangerous trends to afflict American roads in recent years. While all types of distractions should be avoided while driving, texting is one of the worst. It requires visual attention, manual handling, and mental attention—all three of which are also required for driving.
In response to reports that distracted driving is on the rise, the state of New Jersey has set aside $1 million to apprehend distracted drivers.
Distracted Driving Causes Thousands of Injuries and Deaths Every Year
When you look into the texting and driving trend, you’ll find a number of startling statistics. Nationally, nearly 500,000 people are injured by distracted drivers. Between 2011 and 2015, distracted driving was a factor in 804,000 vehicle crashes. In 2016, 53 percent of New Jersey crashes were attributed to distracted driving.
An Overview of New Jersey Law
New Jersey has strict punishments for drivers caught texting and driving, particularly on second, third, and subsequent offenses. The first offense leads to a citation and a fine of $200 to $400. On a second infraction, drivers must pay between $400 and $600. Each subsequent offense incurs a fine of $600 to $800, the loss of three vehicle points, and the possibility of a 90-day license suspension.
There are exceptions to this law. Drivers can use a phone while driving if they keep one hand on the wheel and fear for their life or safety, believe that they’re about to be the victim of a criminal act, or are reporting an accident or road hazard to the appropriate authorities.
The Initiative to Stop Texting and Driving
New Jersey is one of four states to receive federal funding to tackle the texting and driving epidemic. The April 2019 initiative is called “U Text. U Drive. U Pay.” Designed to bring attention to a national problem during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, this campaign provides $1 million to put additional patrol officers on the road. Their goal is to issue more tickets to drivers calling or texting while driving. In a similar campaign in 2018, state police gave out over 13,000 tickets for cell phone use while driving.
When Texting and Driving Leads to an Accident
A driver whose attention is split between the road and their phone puts everyone around them at risk of common car accident injuries. If you’re in a car accident caused by a driver using their cell phone, you may be able to recover your losses with a personal injury suit. The court may be able subpoena cell phone records to prove that the driver was distracted at the time of the crash. A successful personal injury case can help you cover medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses.
We Hold Distracted Drivers Accountable
At Rosner Law Offices, P.C., we represent the victims of car accidents and make careless drivers take responsibility for the damage they cause. If you’ve been hit by a distracted driver, call the team of Rosner Law Offices, P.C. at (856) 692-6500 to schedule a consultation at our Vineland office.