Jersey Shore Personal Injury and Employment Specialists

Is it illegal for a driver to text while they are stopped?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2016 | Car Accidents |

You are most likely aware of the danger that texting while driving poses. A driver who is distracted by their phone has a much greater chance of causing an accident and doing serious harm. However, according to New Jersey 101.5, it is not illegal for a driver to text or talk on the phone while the car is stopped. This includes being stopped at a stop sign or a red light.

Therefore, while a driver who hits you may not have been texting at the moment the accident occurred, he or she may have been legally doing so just seconds before while they were stopped. Common sense dictates that if you are in the middle of sending someone a text when traffic clears allowing you to proceed, you will likely not put the phone down and go back to focusing on driving. The distraction caused by the phone will continue, putting everyone on the road at risk.

This problem is especially important in New Jersey. One study found that compared to drivers across the nation, a higher percentage of New Jersey drivers admitted that they have typed an email or sent a text while driving. This is despite the fact that 98 percent of drivers in New Jersey find texting while driving unacceptable, compared to the national average of 96 percent.

That is why some lawmakers are looking to put to an end to this practice. Legislation was proposed last year that would make it illegal for you to text or talk while driving, regardless of whether the car was moving or not. While it did not pass on the first try, legislators plan to reintroduce it again this year.