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Study shows troubling extent of distracted driving in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Car Accidents |

New Jersey drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are rightfully concerned about safety when they take to the roads. A main reason for this is the number of distracted drivers in the Garden State. Simply looking left and right when out and about and it is easy to see the practical scope of the problem. It seems that everyone is looking down at their device whenever the opportunity arises. This is happening even as federal and state governments as well as law enforcement and safety advocates are highlighting how risky it is while imploring people to stop. Being aware of how challenging this can be and understanding the realities is imperative to try and maintain safety. Still, when there is an auto accident, it is vital to know whether it happened because of a distracted driver.

New Jersey is in the top five for most distracted driving fatalities

A troubling new study from Rowan University in Glassboro found that New Jersey is among the five worst states in the nation with the most road fatalities attributed to distracted drivers. As part of the study, the researchers were specific as to what causes the distraction. While cellphones are a primary reason, there are many other catalysts. The study was done using mounted cameras on state roadways. Using the cameras, drivers who were not focused on the road were counted. Their behaviors included cellphone use, of course. But it also extended to drinking coffee, eating and putting on makeup.

The roads that were selected were known to have a high propensity for distracted driving accidents. They included Interstate 295, Interstate 80 and the Garden State Parkway. This was not a short-term study either. The researchers accumulated nearly 15,000 miles. Cellphone use included holding the device in hand and holding it to the driver’s ear. People were also spotted changing their radios, searching their vehicle, appearing tired by yawning and talking to passengers.

Unsurprisingly, the most frequent issue was handheld cellphone activity. Next came grooming. On a positive note, more than three-quarters of the drivers who were watched were not distracted and paid attention to the road. Even a small amount of distraction can cause a crash. Constant education and warnings are being given to try and convince drivers to put down their device and to avoid multitasking in other ways. Citing drivers who violate the law is also a potentially effective strategy. Even with that, distracted driving will continue while people are in control behind the wheel.

For distracted driving auto accidents, it is essential to consider the options

Any auto accident will have the potential for serious consequences whether there are catastrophic injuries or a fatality. Along with the personal and emotional problems that result, there are financial ramifications. Drivers who were behaving in an unsafe manner by failing to pay strict attention to the road can cause motor vehicle accidents. There will likely be evidence as to what they were doing at the time and this could be a fundamental aspect of recovering sufficiently to cover for all that was lost. The entire case must be analyzed and assessed with professional assistance. Those who have been unfortunate enough to be impacted by this type of crash must be aware of their rights and should have help.