Texting and driving - potentially deadly

Some New Jersey drivers think nothing of sending a text at a stoplight or picking up the phone while driving. However, these things - especially texting, which requires a driver to take his or her eyes off the road - constitute distracted driving, which is often fatal or injurious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers caused 18 percent of fatal and injury-causing crashes in 2010. This equaled 3,092 deaths and 416,000 injuries.

Not all states have laws against texting and driving, and some do not regulate the use of wireless devices while driving at all. There is no national standard regulating texting or other uses of wireless devices while behind the wheel. Instead, regulations vary by state and locality.

In the interim, the Federal Communications Commission is working with various organizations, including government agencies, to promote awareness and prevent deaths due to misuse of technology. The FCC has also created the Distracted Driving Information Clearinghouse in order to educate the public about responsible technology usage and prevention of injuries and deaths due to cellphone use.

In some cases, people suffer severe injuries in car accidents that occur because of irresponsible vehicle operation from other drivers. In these cases, medical bills may become extremely difficult to pay. A lawyer who has experience in personal injury could discuss with one of these injured individuals the possibility of seeking a settlement from the liable driver's insurance provider. If obtained, a settlement may help to ease the financial burden caused by the accident.

Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", September 12, 2014

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