Proposed distracted driving law aims to reduce auto accidents

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2020 | Personal Injury |

One of the most common reasons for an auto accident in New Jersey is due to a distracted driver. While it is illegal to use a device when operating a vehicle, many people ignore the law and do so anyway. Law enforcement will issue citations and fines if a driver is caught in the act, but the problem continues. One step lawmakers are taking is to try and enhance the laws for handheld devices. Even with that, people who are in a crash should know what to do to determine if a distracted driver was the catalyst of the accident.

New proposal would penalize drivers for holding a device at a red light

A proposed new law would give tickets and penalties to drivers caught holding a cellphone behind the wheel when they are stopped at a red light. Depending on the number of times a driver is caught and cited, there will be escalating fines and other penalties like a driver’s license suspension. Until this law is passed, drivers are still allowed to hold the device, send text messages or make calls while stopped at a red light.

People might not believe this is dangerous since the vehicle is not moving, but research indicates that any form of distraction that takes a driver’s mind off the task at hand can be dangerous in the moment and extend to when they have put the phone down. Statistically, distracted driving is a major cause of injuries and death on the state roads. In the past decade, it has been the most common cause of accidents. In 2018 alone, there were nearly 1,400 accidents because of cellphone use.

Auto accidents and injuries may require a legal filing for compensation

An auto accident can happen in an instant and cause endless challenges to a person and his or her family. Facing sudden medical expenses, the inability to be an active member of a family, not being able to work, and other challenges can arise after a crash. To have a chance at a full recovery and cover for the extensive costs that will likely accrue, a legal filing might be necessary.

Even if the new proposal to address this challenge becomes law, it is still likely that people will flout it and drive while distracted. For people who have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash, it is important to understand that it might have been due to a distracted driver and take appropriate steps in the aftermath. Consulting with a firm that has experience in personal injury claims can help with investigating the collision and filing a case for compensation.