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Driving while distracted

Distracted driving is a big problem for drivers in New Jersey. According to the CDC, drivers who do not have their full attention on the road are involved in nine fatal crashes each day. The number of distraction-related crashes has increased dramatically in recent years. All of the available data indicates that more people are being injured or killed as the result of distracted driving.

One of the most significant causes of distracted driving is the use of smartphones or other handheld electronic devices. A 2011 study found that 69 percent of drivers in the United States admitted to making phone calls while driving. This is an important statistic because using a cell phone or smartphone while driving is more dangerous than other types of distractions. These devices can cause people to take their eyes off the road for longer and more often than other common distractions.

The risks of distracted driving are even greater for young people. Almost half of U.S. students over the age of 16 admitted to texting or sending emails while behind the wheel. Frequent texting while driving has also been shown to be linked to a greater likelihood of drinking and driving in teenagers. Many states are now passing laws that ban the use of handheld electronic devices while driving.

When a car accident is caused by distracted driving, a lawyer may be able to help. If a police crash investigation report indicates that the driver who caused the accident was texting at the time of the collision, a lawyer may be able to use that information in court. If the lawyer can show that the driver was not paying attention when the crash occurred, it may be possible to prove that the driver was negligent and liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiff.

Source: CDC, "Distracted Driving", December 12, 2014

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