The lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have seen distracted driving become a major cause of accidents in New Jersey and across the country.
Causing an accident while texting and driving is not only distracted driving, but also a violation of N.J.S.A. Section 39:4-97.3. But it’s even more complicated because, depending on what the driver was doing, the other texting person or a company may be partially responsible for the accident. The New Jersey case of Kubert v. Best holds the texting party partially responsible under certain circumstances, especially if the negligent texting driver was on the job at the time of the accident.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from the most recent three-year stretch in which distracted driving accident statistics are available shows show that these crashes produce:
All distracted driving is dangerous. However, most evidence suggests the greatest risk comes from texting and driving. When a driver texts and drives, he puts not just himself but passengers and others on the road at risk as well.
If you have been injured in a texting accident caused by another driver in New Jersey, the law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., can help you to sort through all options for seeking relief for your losses, including:
- Filing a no-fault insurance claim – This claim would seek benefits from your own insurance company or the insurance company of the driver of the car you were a passenger in.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit – This claim would seek compensation from the driver or drivers who caused your crash.
- Winning you a settlement or a verdict for the money you deserve.
Determining what route to take in your case can be confusing and frustrating at a time when you should be focusing on your recovery and your family. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., can help to relieve your stress by doing this work for you and seeking compensation you need to carry on with your life, while you worry about your medical rehabilitation and getting better.
We provide free and confidential initial consultations. To schedule one today, call 1-800-LAW-2000 or fill out our online form.
Why Does Texting While Driving Cause Crashes?
Texting while driving has been proven to present significant dangers. In fact:
- Texting is more likely to increase the risk of a crash than regular cell-phone use, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
- Sending or receiving a text requires looking away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds – long enough to run the length of an entire football field, according to Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving.
- You are 23 times more likely to be in a car crash if you text while behind the wheel, Distraction.gov states. This factor increases dramatically when alcohol, speeding or adverse weather conditions are added to the mix.
Distracted driving statistics suggest that teens and young adults are at the greatest risk for texting accidents. Distraction.gov reports:
- Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.
- 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- 20 percent of teens admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
New Jersey Law on Distracted Driving
Because texting and driving is so dangerous, New Jersey bans texting by all drivers. Additionally, under state law:
- Drivers must use hands-free devices when talking on cell phones in the car.
- Drivers under age 21 with learner’s permits or probationary licenses may not use any cell phones, hand-held or hands-free, while behind the wheel.
- School bus drivers cannot use any cell phones behind the wheel.
- Drivers who use a hand-held cell phone while driving face a fine of up to $400 for a first offense and $600 on a second offense. For third and subsequent offenses, a driver could be fined up to $800, lose driving privileges for 90 days and receive three license points.
- Drivers who are driving while distracted and cause accidents leading to serious harm or death can be prosecuted and face prison time and fines up to $150,000, pursuant to N.J.S.A. Section 39:4-97.3.
New Jersey laws help to prevent texting accidents and play a role in taking legal action when someone causes an accident by texting. If a driver is breaking a safety law and causes a crash, the driver is presumed to be negligent (or negligent per se).
An employer may also be held liable if an employee causes a crash while on the job due to distracted driving such as texting.
Contact a New Jersey Texting Accident Attorney
Many people fear that if they take immediate action to file a claim, they will be penalized because it looks like they are motivated by money. This is a huge mistake because insurance companies often start their investigations while the accident victim is still hospitalized or recovering on their own.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney about what you can do to protect your rights.
The car accident lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., are ready to help. Since 1981, we have devoted our legal careers to helping people throughout New Jersey who were injured due to the carelessness of others. Call us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or complete our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation right away.
Sources / More Information
- Distracted Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association