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Distracted driving tied to over a million New Jersey auto crashes


The introduction of technology, such as smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, has certainly made life a lot easier and more exciting for some people. However, for people who use this technology indiscriminately while behind the wheel, life on the road certainly becomes more dangerous. Distracted driving has become a serious concern all over the country. It is no different here in New Jersey.

Of the three million motor vehicle accidents that occurred in New Jersey in the last decade, approximately 1.4 million involved distracted driving, earning the last 10 years the name "Distracted Driving Decade." However, it does not stop there. Distracted driving, which includes texting and driving, has been progressively increasing. In 2004, 42 percent of the crashes were due to driver inattention. The figures increased through the years and reached a high of 53 percent in 2013. A previous post reviewed similar statistics, as well as the dangers of distracted driving.

Texting while driving and talking on a phone while behind the wheel are prohibited in New Jersey. Although not everyone may be aware of the laws, 9 out of 10 residents presume that distracted driving is not allowed. A distracted driver could get up to three demerits on their driving record and pay a fine that could reach $800. However, the real trouble is when a distracted driver causes an accident, injuring motorists and even causing fatalities.

New Jersey drivers who think they can effectively multitask while behind the wheel should think twice. Researchers have found that distracted driving reduced certain brain activity aimed at focused driving by 37 percent, causing "inattention blindness." While new gadgets have certainly made life easier in some respects, there is still no substitute for discipline and safety while on the road.

Source: Nj.com, "Distracted driving linked to 1.4 million crashes in N.J. during past 10 years," Amy Ellis Nutt, April 14, 2014

Source: Nj.com, "Distracted driving linked to 1.4 million crashes in N.J. during past 10 years," Amy Ellis Nutt, April 14, 2014

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