Texting while Driving Increases Crash Risk
After 28-year-old Toni Bolis of Washington Township, and her unborn son Ryan Jeffrey, were killed in June of last year by a 21-year-old driver who was looking down at his GPS on his phone, Bolis’s sisters, Angela and Annette Donato, started a crusade against texting while driving. Angela recently spent the day at Washington Township High School talking to 800 sophomores about the issue.
A 2010 poll by Farleigh Dickinson University found that 25% of New Jersey voters admitted to sending texts while driving. This was an increase from 15% in 2008. Younger drivers are especially prone to sending texts, with more than 35% of New Jersey drivers age 30-45 admitting to sending them while in motion, compared to 17% of drivers over 45.
In New Jersey, the use of all mobile devices, including texting, is prohibited while driving, except for the use of hands-free devices.
A study conducted by Pinger, a company that sells a voice-activated alternative to texting, found that 89% of adult in the US think that texting while driving is dangerous, and should be illegal. Although 95% of drivers surveyed in 2009 considered texting while driving unacceptable, 21% admitted they’d done it recently.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has showed that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who were not distracted.
An experiment by Car and Driver magazine found that driving while texting was more dangerous than driving while drunk. Compared to “baseline” tests, an intoxicated driver traveled an additional 11 feet before hitting the brakes in response to a road hazard – while a texting driver traveled 70 feet further down.
Although restrictions on the use of mobile devices for private drivers vary from state to state, since 2010 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prohibited interstate truckers from texting while driving, or even while stopped in traffic or sitting at a stop light. Truckers who text while driving can incur civil and criminal penalties of up to $2,750.
An experienced car accident attorney can request a driver’s phone records to show whether the driver was texting or talking on a cell phone and thus distracted when the accident occurred.
If your or a family member have been involved in a serious car accident, whether or not texting was involved, contact the New Jersey auto accident lawyers at Law Offices of Greenberg, Walden & Grossman, LLC.