New Jersey launches campaign against distracted driving

Recent survey by AAA suggests many drivers continue to text and drive

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) recently launched a campaign, JustDrive.com, designed to combat distracted driving, according to the Bergen Dispatch. The campaign follows legislation passed last year that toughened the state's laws against texting and driving that was designed to reduce the number of car accidents caused by driver inattention. The campaign, however, will have a tough challenge ahead based on some disturbing results shown in a recent AAA survey about attitudes towards distracted driving.

State campaign

The MVC campaign will run across multiple media platforms, such as through websites, television, radio and billboards. A website dedicated to the JustDrive.com campaign includes stories from people who have been involved in wrecks caused by distracted drivers and a wealth of information about the dangers posed by cellphone use when behind the wheel.

During the launch of the campaign, officials noted that people who check a text message while driving at 55 mph take their eyes off the road for the equivalent length of a football field. Furthermore, the National Safety Council says that about 1.6 million accidents are caused each year by texting, with many more being attributed to similar distractions, such as talking on a cellphone.

Stubborn attitudes

One of the major challenges for the campaign, however, will be convincing drivers to change their behaviors. According to The Record, a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that more than a quarter of drivers admit to texting or emailing while driving in spite of the fact that 84 percent of drivers considered texting and driving to be unacceptable.

A third of drivers say they have read a text message while driving and two-thirds of motorists have talked on a cellphone while driving. Despite a widespread belief that such behavior is risky, many drivers seem to have an attitude that they are somehow better than the average driver, an attitude that is often proven tragically wrong through the countless number of people killed and injured in distracted driving accidents every year.

Motor vehicle accidents

For those people that have been injured by a distracted driver, deciding what to do next can be a fraught and confusing decision. A personal injury attorney can assist accident victims in understanding what paths may be followed in light of an accident caused by a distracted driver. In some cases, accident victims may be able to pursue additional claims that can become especially important when taking the time necessary to recover from a serious injury.