In recent years, state and federal government traffic safety officials have run a massive campaign, attempting to educate drivers on the many dangers of talking, texting or emailing on a cell phone from behind the wheel. And, in some ways, that campaign has been highly successful. Multiple surveys show that drivers in Hackensack and throughout the state and country are now well aware that distracted driving significantly increases the chances of car accidents, injuries and fatalities. But, as those same surveys indicate, motorists continue to text and drive.
In a decision that was widely tracked both in and outside of New Jersey, a judge has ruled that the sender of a text message cannot be held responsible for any accidents that take place as a result of the recipient's reading or responding to that text message.
Most New Jersey residents are well aware of the dangers of texting while driving. But texting while walking? The only possible danger of that, it seems, is to gain notoriety after the video of the walker falling into a fountain or walking into a tree goes viral on YouTube.
With all the attention that has been paid to distracted driving in recent years, it is almost shocking to read statistics indicating that drivers continue to text and talk while behind the wheel. Yet according to a new survey of teenage drivers, that is exactly what is happening: about 30 percent of respondents stated that they had sent or read a text while driving in the past month, and nearly half said that they had made a cell phone call without a hands-free device.
After a massive tractor-trailer crash took the lives of 11 people in 2010, members of the National Transportation Safety Board are taking action. In hopes to prevent future fatal truck accidents, the NTSB is recommending a ban on all cellphone use behind the wheel of tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, buses, and other commercial vehicles.
In the ongoing fight against distracted driving, there is a new weapon. With the release of a few new applications, the very smartphones that were previously responsible for so many distracted driving-related car accidents may now actually prevent drivers from talking and texting behind the wheel. Although such applications, or apps, are still in their early stages, law enforcement officials in New Jersey and throughout the country are hopeful that they will remove the temptation to use a cell phone while driving.