Many car accidents are caused by distracted driving. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, approximately 1,000 injuries occur in automobile crashes and an average of nine individuals are killed due to distracted driving daily. Distracted driving can be fatal and is a serious threat to traffic safety and society.
From 2012 to 2016, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety reported that distracted driving was a major factor in over 800,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state. In 2017, 3,166 fatalities occurred nationwide in distracted driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Young drivers are especially susceptible to driving while texting and pose a great risk to traffic safety. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that texting causes one to look away from the road for approximately five seconds. In that amount of time, an individual driving 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field.
Even a brief distraction can have devastating effects. Any type of distraction, however minor, can lead to severe consequences if it results in an accident. Victims need thorough representation to ensure that they are adequately compensated. The Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm help victims recover damages for personal injuries caused by distracted driving.
What is Distracted Driving?
Any object or action that diverts a motorist from focusing on driving falls into the category of distracted driving. One of the most dangerous distractions today is texting while driving. However, different factors contribute to distracted driving, including talking to passengers, changing the radio, watching videos, eating while driving, putting on make-up, or accessing the GPS. Distracted driving falls into the following three categories:
- Cognitive: This distraction is associated with daydreaming while driving.
- Manual: This distraction occurs when a motorist takes their hands off the steering wheel.
- Visual: This distraction occurs when a motorist looks away from the road.
Cell Phone Use While Driving is Illegal
It is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while driving in New Jersey. New Jersey penalizes motorists who are caught using a hand-held cellphone while driving as a primary offense. A police officer can pull over a motorist for simply using a hand-held cell phone, even if the motorist has not violated any other traffic laws. In New Jersey, teens are banned from using any cell phone, hands-free or otherwise. The following is a breakdown of how the state charges for offenses:
- First Offense: A first time offense can incur a fine of $200 to $400.
- Second Offense: A second offense can incur a fine of $400 to $600.
- Third and Successive Offenses: A third and later offense can incur fines between $600 to $800, with the addition of three motor vehicle points, and a possible 90-day license suspension.
Liability for Distracted Driving in Automobile Crashes
If a driver caused an automobile accident due to distracted driving, their negligence will be a factor in determining liability and damages. In litigation involving automobile accidents, attorneys often request cell phone records. If it is found that a driver was distracted due to texting or phone use, this evidence can be used to prove driver negligence.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Advocate for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, the South Jersey car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm can help. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City.