An analysis conducted by New Jersey State Police found distracted driving is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in our state. In 2015, there were 190 fatal distracted driving crashes in New Jersey.
It is important to understand that distracted driving does not always entail texting behind the wheel. This is a common reason for distracted driving crashes, but it is not the only one. Distracted driving also entails eating, applying makeup, shaving or using handsfree technology.
Many vehicles also come with infotainment systems that pair with apps, phones and GPS technology. Infotainment systems are complicating efforts to curb distracted driving crashes. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, this technology increases the cognitive load for drivers. New Jersey transportation officials believe infotainment systems are part of the reason why our state has so many fatal crashes.
Will New Jersey’s New Program Prevent Distracted Driving Crashes?
State law enforcement and transportation officials are desperate to reduce the high number of distracted driving deaths in our state. Starting this April, 500 police departments throughout New Jersey will use $2 million in federal grant money to increase patrols and checkpoints. Thanks to the federal grant, New Jersey can also pay law enforcement overtime to catch and fine distracted drivers. State officials are confident the grant money will help further reduce distracted driving fatalities in New Jersey. Fines for first-time offenses range from $200 to $400.
Distracted drivers can suffer consequences worse than $200 to $400 fines. Those that hit and injure or kill other drivers or pedestrians can face lawsuits. Individuals who have been injured by distracted drivers can file lawsuits for damages, as can family members that have lost loved ones.
The New Jersey car accident lawyers at Keefe Law Firm can help individuals and grieving family members hold distracted drivers accountable for causing crashes.