Texting While Driving
Distracted driving, which includes texting, causes 16 percent of fatal car crashes and 20 percent of accidents causing some injury. Making its way through the New Jersey legislature is a new bill authorizing the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Director of Division of Highway and Traffic Safety, to place signs throughout the state reminding motorists that texting while driving is against the law.
- Teen drivers are the worst offenders although half of adults admit to texting while driving on the job.
- 10 percent of drivers aged 16 to 24 years old are on their phone at any one time
- 40 percent of teens admit to texting while driving.
With fourteen youths a day killed in car accidents caused by texting, cell phone companies are creating apps to prevent texting while driving.
AT&T launched a campaign It Can Wait to alert teens to the dangers of texting while driving. Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have joined in this summer advertising effort. AT&T has a simulator on its It Can Wait site to let teens see how even a short distraction can be lethal.
- AT&T has a free app for Blackberry and Android users to block texting while driving.
- DriveSafe.ly provides a free app that reads out loud texts and emails and automatically sends responses to incoming messages. It’s available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones.
- Safe Texting R is an iPhone app for $0.99 that reminds drivers not to text while the car is in motion.
- Safe Texting AR is an app for Android and Blackberry users.
Be sure to contact experienced counsel who understands New Jersey insurance and motor vehicle law in the event of an accident caused by distracted driving.