Texting While Driving: Distracted Driving Laws

Driving While textingIt’s an everyday occurrence. You see teens quickly sneaking a text while sitting at behind the wheel at a red light. The guy passing you on your morning commute is doing double duty, trying to watch the road and send a text at the same time. You’ve even noticed that mothers transporting kids are texting while driving. It makes you wonder if everyone is really aware of the dangers of texting while driving.

Against the Law

In New Jersey, not only is it illegal for all drivers to send text messages while driving, but making a call with a handheld cell phone is against the law as well. Plus, bus drivers and drivers under the age of 21 are not allowed to use hands-free devices either. So why is there so much concern surrounding texting while driving?

Dangerous Distraction

There’s the obvious reason, the driver is distracted and unable to operate the vehicle with adequate response time. But it’s more than just that. In 2011, more than a million car accidents involved cell phone use, including texting. In the five seconds that it takes a person to look at and read a text message, he or she would travel the equivalent of a football field if doing 55 mph. That’s more than enough time and distance to get into an accident. Not only is the driver taking his or her eyes off the road, but their hands must leave the wheel to text and their mind is no longer focused on the road. If simply listening to music or chatting with a passenger decreases cognitive abilities by 40%, just imagine what texting does. It not only places the driver at risk, but everyone else on the road is at risk as well.

Who’s Doing It?

So who’s guilty of texting at the wheel? Statistics show that people ranging from ages 16-64 are admitting to texting while driving. However, almost fifty percent of high schoolers confess to texting while driving, despite its dangers. Many of whom believe that nothing bad will happen to them or that they’re simply multitasking – something that they’re used to. But rest assured, teens are not alone in their guilt. Adults, ages 35-44, are mature and responsible enough to understand the dangers of distracted driving. Still, 22% of them text and drive.

No matter how you look at it, texting while driving is dangerous. But, drivers everywhere, including New Jersey, are continuing to do it. If you’ve been charged with distracted driving as a result of text messaging, the expertise of a Bergen County traffic lawyer can help.

About Aimee Lancaster

Born and raised in New York Aimee works as a freelance author and contributes to multiple publications and blogs around the world.