Distracted driving is one of the most common contributors to car crashes that take place across New Jersey and the nation. Research shows that New Jersey is among the worst states in the United States when it comes to motorists driving while distracted. A 2021 study on distracted driving crashes revealed that New Jersey ranks second out of all 50 states in terms of the number of fatal distracted driving wrecks it sees each year.
Per NJ 101.5, almost a quarter, or 24.6%, of all fatal car crashes that take place in New Jersey involve driver distraction. While this is alarming, it does not take into account the many other motorists and passengers who suffer serious, potentially life-altering injuries in crashes with distracted drivers.
Types of driver distraction
There are three primary types of driver distractions: cognitive, manual and visual distractions. Cognitive distractions divert a driver’s mental attention away from the vehicle’s controls, while manual distractions might take a driver’s hands away from the wheel or controls. Visual distractions are those that make a driver look away from the immediate task at hand.
Common causes of driver distraction
Some common sources of driver distraction, such as texting, involve all three types of driver distraction. On the national level, about 8% of crashes involve some type of cellphone use. In 2019, the use of cell phones played a role in 13% of all fatal car crashes that took place nationwide.
Only New Mexico sees more fatal crashes involving driver distraction than New Jersey. More than 37% of the state’s fatal crashes involve some form of driver distraction.