New Jersey drivers face many distractions today. The most obvious distraction is cell phones or smartphones. Other distractions include eating, using a GPS device or changing the radio station.
Distractions associated with cell phones and smartphones are talking while driving and texting while driving. New Jersey law prohibits drivers from texting while driving and talking while they are driving, unless drivers are using hands free devices. See NJ Cell Phone Use & Car Accident Law: NJ Gets Tougher on Distracted Driving
Did you know that dialing while driving actually increases the risk of crashes or near-crashes more than any other types of distractions? This is what a study revealed according to a report published by the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year. *Source: www.nejm.org (Distracted Driving and Risk of Road Crashes among Novice and Experienced Drivers)
The researchers followed 42 drivers who just got their licenses and 109 drivers who had been driving for an average of 20 years. All of the drivers were followed for 12 to 18 months. Researchers put GPS systems, radar, 4 cameras, accelerometers and other equipment in the drivers’ vehicles.
During the time that the drivers were followed, drivers were involved in a total of 73 crashes, 31 for the novice drivers and 42 for the experienced drivers.
Drivers also had 612 near-crashes, which were “any circumstance requiring a last-moment physical maneuver that challenged the physical limitations of the vehicle to avoid a crash for which the driver was at fault or partially at fault.”
As expected, new drivers got into more trouble than the experienced drivers when they tried to do anything other than driving. Compared to experienced drivers, novice drivers were 8.32 times more likely to get into a crash or near-crash when they were dialing their cell phones; 8 times more likely when reaching for something besides their cell phones; 7.05 times more likely when trying to grab the phone; 3.9 times more likely when looking at something on the side of the road; and 2.99 times higher when eating.
For the experienced drivers, the only activity that increased the risk of a crash or near-crash risk was dialing a cell phone, which made them 2.49 times more likely to get into a crash or near-crash accident.
However, the data collected for the research was done in 2003 and 2004 for experienced drivers and between 2006 and 2008 for novice drivers.
Though texting while driving was not as prevalent 10 years ago, the results of the research tells us that novice drivers are more likely to get into accidents when distracted. Newly minted drivers are usually teen drivers. Parents of teen drivers should talk to their children about the dangers of texting while driving, dialing a number while driving and talking while driving.
Help After Car Accidents Caused by Drivers Texting or Talking on Cell Phones in NJ
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in NJ due to a driver who was talking or texting while driving, you have legal rights. Call my office and we can discuss your legal rights. FREE consultations. 800.281.8695