Distracted driving has been a constant problem in New Jersey and across the United States since smartphones with seemingly endless capabilities came into prominence. In the past year, the health crisis has exacerbated road dangers as drivers have used the less congested roadways to partake in various risky behaviors including increased distracted driving. Every year, April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness” month. With that, drivers are educated about the dangers of distracted driving and law enforcement seeks to enforce the laws to dissuade drivers from taking part in distracting behaviors.
Campaigns aside, distraction is a largely unavoidable problem
To fight distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued grants across the nation. New Jersey distributed it to its municipalities. Millville received $9,000 to boost its efforts. In the state, the statistics for distracted driving deaths are worrisome. Between 2015 and 2019, there were 730 fatalities in auto accidents overall. These included people inside vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
More than 25% involved a driver who was distracted. Of all accidents, more than 50% involved distracted driving. This makes it the most common cause of a fatal crash. There was a decline in distracted driving accidents in 2019 and the trend has been moving downward for the past several years, but it was still a more frequent catalyst for a collision than other risky behaviors on the road: drivers who were under the influence and drivers who were speeding.
Auto accidents can lead to major problems in a person’s life
People can find their lives radically changed after an auto accident. Medical expenses are likely to be exorbitant, they will face various forms of treatment, working and contributing to a home could be limited, and they might not return to the way they were before the crash. If there is a fatality, the family left behind must come to grips with an unexpected loss.
Professional help may be needed to weigh options
Distracted driving is a known cause of many collisions – it is so big a problem that federal agencies are aggressively campaigning and implementing policies to reduce it. Still, it is an ongoing risk that is likely to continue. People who suffered personal injury or who lost a loved one in a crash should be cognizant of the chance that it was due to a distracted driver. For help with potentially recovering compensation for all that was lost, it might be beneficial to have professional assistance in investigating the case and determining a path forward.