Fatalities in vehicle accidents are on the rise in the U.S. and New Jersey is no exception.
607 deaths were reported by the New Jersey State Police for 2016, representing an 8% increase over 2015. The report confirmed that annual deaths in our state have been steadily climbing since 2013.
The State Police stated that sporadic seat belt use, excessive speed and cell phones and other distractions contributed to the high number of fatalities. However, of all these factors, driver distraction is the largest change in behavior over the last 10 years according to AAA New Jersey Automobile Club.
Distracted Driving: A Growing Epidemic
Despite New Jersey's stringent laws that prohibit texting and hand-held cellphone use, distracted driving continues to be a big problem in our state. Distracted driving includes, in addition to cellphone use, any behavior that takes the driver's attention away from the task at hand including eating and drinking, talking to passengers and adjusting GPS or music systems.
Texting while driving is the most hazardous behavior because it requires the driver's eyes, hands and cognition at the same time. If reading or sending a text typically takes about 5 seconds, a car could travel the length of a football field while the driver doesn't even see the road!
Talk to Your Young Driver About the Dangers of Driving Distracted
April is National Distracted Driving Month and the perfect time to have a serious talk with your young driver about distracted driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) offers pertinent and easy to read materials to educate drivers of all ages about this risky behavior.
The NSC's motto is "Put safety first and Just Drive." You can learn more about the dangers of distracted driving and tips on how to discuss this critical issue with young drivers in your family at their website.
The NSC even offers a Focused Drive Pledge that you can take together with your children. Remember, you are a role model for your children especially with your driving behaviors. Use a hands-free option sparingly for making and receiving cellphone calls while driving, and never text and drive.
New Jersey has resources too - read about the risks and penalties for distracted driving at the Office of the Attorney General website.
Let Us Help if You Have Been Injured in a Traffic Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or by any other type of personal injury, or need help with any family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Livingston, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website