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Distracted Driver Survey Shows New Jersey With Highest Rates Ever

May 6, 2015

For the past three years, an insurance company called Plymouth Rock Assurance has been performing an annual survey of New Jersey drivers to see how many are following the laws against driving distracted or intoxicated. Depending on how closely you’ve been following the issue, you may not be surprised to hear that fully one-third of New Jerseyans surveyed admitted they text while driving. Unfortunately, that’s the highest percentage yet reported on the survey.

Even more — 38 percent — admitted having talked on a cellphone behind the wheel without using hands-free technology as required by New Jersey law. As you may know, a hands-free device is required if you want to talk on your phone while driving in New Jersey; even a first offense can cost you $200 to $400 in fines.

Of the 1,000 New Jersey drivers surveyed, 11 percent admitted they had driven under the influence of alcohol at some point in the past; 3 percent under the influence of narcotics.

A wide variety of distracting activities were included on the survey

Plymouth Rock didn’t limit its distracted driving survey to behavior that violates a specific state traffic law. While texting and handheld cellphone use behind the wheel have been specifically prohibited on New Jersey roadways, there are plenty of other activities that could distract you enough to cause an accident.

Here are some of the behind-the-wheel behaviors studied, along with the percentage New Jersey drivers who admitted to them in this year’s survey:

  • Changing the radio station – 82 percent
  • Reaching for something – 77 percent
  • Reading directions – 51 percent
  • Dealing with kids in the car – 38 percent
  • Performing personal grooming tasks – 8 percent
  • Surfing the Internet – 6 percent
  • Taking selfies – 4 percent
  • Making a video while simultaneously driving – 3 percent

According to many safety experts, distracted driving is no safer than drunk driving. Unfortunately, distracted drivers outnumber drunk drivers by far. Don’t be one of them.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a distracted driver, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries and losses.

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