Driver distraction is a serious problem across New Jersey and the rest of the United States, and this means enhanced dangers for everyone who travels the state’s roadways. The distracted driving problem has become so bad in New Jersey that driver inattention now has a hand in more than half of all car crashes that occur statewide.
Per the Atlantic Highlands Herald, distracted driving was a factor in more than 50% of all crashes that took place across the state between 2011 and 2020. It also contributed to almost a third of all fatal crashes that took place within that span.
Distracted driving statistics
Researchers at Rowan University studied the state’s distracted driving problem to get a better sense of its severity. While studying a specific set of high-traffic areas within the state, researchers determined that about 20% of motorists driving in those areas were driving distracted at any given time. Research also revealed that more motorists drive distracted during the week, as opposed to the weekends. Studies also show that the problem is particularly severe during peak driving hours, such as during the morning and evening commutes.
Distracted driving behaviors
Driver distractions fall into three main categories: cognitive, manual and visual distractions. Certain behind-the-wheel behaviors, such as texting, involve all three types of distraction, making them particularly dangerous. Other common behaviors that take a driver’s attention away from the wheel include eating, personal grooming and using in-vehicle navigation systems.
Drivers who cause crashes as a result of inattention may face sanctions if others involved in the wrecks suffer injuries or fatalities.