Distracted driving has become a leading cause of accidents in New Jersey and throughout America. Nine people die and over a thousand get injured each day due to distracted driving. These statistics have led New Jersey and numerous other states to legislate stricter laws concerning texting and driving accidents.
People who use cell phones while driving are guilty of taking their eyes off the road, driving recklessly with one hand, failing to remain alert, and engaging in conversation that draw their attention away from oncoming traffic.
Distracted driving isn’t just causing an accident while texting and driving. It is also an infringement of N.J.S.A. Section 39:4-97.3, commonly referred to as “cell phone while driving violation.” Matters can get more complicated as a third party can also be held liable for damages. This means that the other texting person may be partly to blame for the accident, especially if they know that the person they are texting is driving or on the job.
Call (732) 625-9494 for a free consultation with one of our New Jersey car accident lawyers.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving occurs when something causes a driver to take their eyes or attention off the road. Distracted driving was split into three main categories by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association:
- Visual distraction when the driver intentionally takes their eyes off the road to look at another object.
- Manual distraction when the driver reaches for something and intentionally takes their hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distraction when a driver isn’t mindful of their surroundings
Causes of distracted driving
A person may be voluntarily distracted by any of the following reasons while operating a vehicle:
- Reading a map or any printed material
- Engaging in conversations with passengers
- Fiddling with radio dials, air conditioner, or a cigarette lighter
- Engaging in shaving, putting on makeup, or grooming
- Checking emails or text messages
- Watching phone videos
- Talking on the phone
Texting seems to be the major culprit in distracted driving. Texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention, and falls into all of the three distracted driving categories.
Proving a distracted driver’s liability
All forms of distraction while driving can lead to a serious accident. Many evidence, however, point to texting while driving as the greatest risk. When a person texts while driving, they not only endanger themselves but also their passengers, including other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
Courts in New Jersey generally maintain that the act of texting while driving is tantamount to negligence and thus, indicates liability. The best thing to do if you are involved in a distracted driving accident is to find any witnesses who can confirm your side of the story. In the absence of witnesses, the statement of the police officer on the scene can be used. Closed-circuit camera footage and the driver’s cell phone records can be subpoenaed by a personal injury attorney to strengthen evidence.
Distracted drivers may be held accountable for your injuries
A distracted driver is legally accountable for causing injuries to you and your passengers, including damage to property, even in a “no-fault” state like New Jersey. Death, miscarriage, fractures, scarring, disfigurement, or other types of permanent injury resulting from the accident have a high probability of winning a distracted driving case.
Consideration of laws against using a cellphone while driving (except if it’s hands-free) can make for a more compelling wrongful death or personal injury claim. You may also file a claim for loss of future earnings, cost of ongoing medical expenses, loss of consortium, emotional pain, loss of enjoyment in life, and other punitive damages.
Contact an experienced NJ personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a texting-related car accident,
Talking with an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights. The personal injury attorneys at The Grossman Law Firm are ready to help. We have committed ourselves to helping people all over New Jersey who were injured through the negligence of others.
Call us today at (732) 625-9494 or fill out our online form to schedule a confidential and free consultation.