Several police departments across New Jersey have joined together to crack down on distracted driving. The campaign, called UDrive, UText, UPay, has local police departments hoping that it will put a spotlight on what has become a safety epidemic, and raise awareness long into the future. Certain towns even received grants to put extra officers on the road to specifically target drivers who are using hand-held cellphones, or texting while driving.
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous. Every day, 11 teenagers are fatally injured because they are using their smart phones when they should be looking at the road. Although almost all teens acknowledge that it is a problem, 35 percent admit to doing it anyway. Over 20 percent of teens fatally injured in car accidents were using their phone while driving.
There are three main types of distractions while driving:
- Visual distractions involve a driver taking their eyes of the road.
- Manual distractions involve a driver taking their hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive distractions involve a driver taking their mind off driving.
Focusing on Handheld Cellphone Use
Distracted driving encompasses any activity that requires you to take your eyes, mind, or hands off the task of driving, but the crackdown specifically focuses on handheld cellphone use. Texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction because it takes five full seconds to send or read a text message. If a driver takes their eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour, they travel the length of a football field without looking up. You cannot drive safely unless you are fully engaged in the process.
According to the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, distracted driving is the most serious issue on our roads today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 400,000 people were injured, and nearly 3,500 people were fatally injured in accidents that could have been prevented had a driver not been distracted.
Some of the many New Jersey police departments that are participating in the UDrive, UText, UPay campaign include Bedminster, North Brunswick, East Brunswick, South Brunswick, New Brunswick, Linden, Warren, West Amwell, Watchung, South Bound Brook, Somerville, Readington, Raritan, North Plainfield, Clinton, Hillsborough, Manville, Middlesex, Flemington, Frenchtown, Branchburg, Bernards, Bernardsville, Bound Brook, and Carteret.
To stop distracted driving, parents are encouraged to lead by example, and never drive distracted. Remind your teen drivers that violating distracted driving laws could mean fines, having their license suspended, and hurting themselves and innocent families on the road.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Victims Injured by Distracted Drivers
If you have been injured by a distracted driver who was texting behind the wheel, we can help you hold them accountable. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling us at 732-384-1331 or contact us online. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, our experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers will give your case the personal attention it deserves so you can get your life back on track. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the state.