According to a series of news articles, state officials in New Jersey for years have been fighting a battle with drivers and their cell phones.
Unfortunately to the authorities and the lives of several victims that could have been spared, state officials have been on the losing end of the battle. There were 3,244 incidents that involved cell phones and that were caused by distracted driver last year in the state alone. Even though hands-free devices like Bluetooth are still legal all across the state, official data shows that people utilizing these devices were also involved several accidents. According to the news, drivers who had hands-free devices on and were actively engaging in a conversation on their phones caused 40 percent of all distracted driving accidents in the state.
Following the official reports, organizations funded and run by insurance companies have researched the data disclosed by the local authorities and have claimed that distracted driving itself may not be the issue that is causing these crashes. According to a spokesperson for one of these organizations, there’s not enough evidence that the use of cell phones behind the wheel are increasing the number of accidents.
Regardless of the ideological battle between state officials and insurance companies, lawmakers decided to focus on the case and a ban on the use of hand-held devices was put in place.
Since 2008, over 450,000 tickets have been handed out to New Jersey drivers who were caught handling their phones while driving.
Hopefully, drivers all across the country are finally learning that texting or talking over the phone while behind the wheel can be dangerous. I encourage you to stay safe and avoid engaging in distracted practices while behind the wheel.