Distracted Driver Accidents
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
Every day, countless victims across the state are injured by the negligent actions of distracted drivers. These car accidents are entirely preventable, yet sadly resulted in 3092 deaths in 2010 alone and injured another 416,000 in that single year, according to data from the National Highway Safety Administration.
The statistics for distracted driving are shocking and all the more tragic as these accidents can be easily avoided:
- A driver using a handheld device is 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident
- The risk of being involved in a crash is 23 times higher if a driver is texting
- 40% of teenagers have been the passenger of a driver who was using a cellphone in a way that put them and other passengers at risk
- In 2010 nearly 1 in 5 injury accidents were caused by distracted driving
- 11% of all fatal accidents involving drivers under the age of 20 were caused by driver distraction
- Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity focused on driving by 37%
- On average, reading or writing a text message causes a driver to look away from the road for 4.6 seconds. If their vehicle is traveling 55 mph they will cross the entire length of a football field during this time, all the while essentially blind to what is happening on the road.
Distracted driving occurs when individuals take their focus off the task of safely operating their vehicles, and they could be held liable for any injuries or losses resulting from their negligence. If you are the victim of a distracted driver anywhere in the state, it is important that you speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney about your options to pursue fair compensation.
Types of Driver Distractions
In many ways, distracted driving is nearly as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, as the driver's mind is not fully focused on the task of safely operating their vehicle and their eyes may be off the road and their hands off the wheel. Safe and responsible driving requires an individual's complete and undivided attention. When a driver takes their eyes away from the road for even a moment disaster can result, as in that split second traffic could come to a halt, a child could run into the street, or another car could merge into the lane ahead of them.
There are three main types of distractions that disrupt drivers' concentration and impact their abilities to operate their vehicles safely: visual distractions, cognitive distractions, and manual distractions.
The driver is visually distracted when the take their eyes away from the road. This type of distraction can last for a few moments or long periods of time and often result when the driver:
- Reads or writes a text message
- Looks at their phone
- Reads a map or GPS device
- Turns to look at passengers
- Looks at something in the distance or on the side of the road
- Applies makeup, shaves, or grooms in any other way
These distractions occur when the driver's mind is partially or completely unfocused on the task of driving. The driver's hands may be on the wheel and they may be looking at the road before them, but their ability to safely control their vehicle can still be impaired by such cognitive distractions as:
- Driving while emotional
- Driving while extremely stressed
- Speaking with passengers
- Having a conversation over the phone
- Composing a text message
A manual distraction occurs when the driver removes one or both hands from the steering wheel for any length of time while driving. Common manual distractions include the following actions:
- Eating or drinking
- Writing a text message
- Answering a phone call
- Adjusting the stereo
- Using a map or GPS device
- Grooming in some way, such as applying makeup or shaving
- Reaching for an item on the passenger side or back of the vehicle
- Searching through or reaching for something in the center console or glove compartment
Distracted driving accidents can cause victims to sustain painful injuries and widespread damages. The collisions that result from this form of driver negligence can leave victimized motorists and passengers with extensive bills for emergency medical care and rehabilitative treatment, missed wages, and in the most tragic of cases, lifelong disabilities and pain. If you were harmed by the negligent actions of a distracted driver, you may be able to hold the individual liable for your losses.
Pursuing Justice for Victims of Distracted Driving in New Jersey
While on the road, drivers have a duty to take all reasonable actions to prevent accidents and subsequent injury to other motorists and passengers by staying alert and obeying traffic laws. The flow of traffic can stop in an instant, cars can merge into the paths of other vehicles, a child or animal can stray into the road, and traffic signals can change, which is why it is imperative that drivers devote their full attention to operating their vehicles.
Our New Jersey personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. is dedicated to helping car accident victims throughout the state, and we can help you seek justice for your injuries and losses. Since 1987 we have provided our clients with exceptional legal counsel in all types of injury cases, and we can assist you with filing a claim against the other driver. To learn more about your available options to pursue a fair settlement for your injuries and to enlist powerful advocacy for your case, contact a car accident attorney at our New Jersey law firm today!