Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the task of driving.
According to a recent article on NJ.com, 168 collisions in New Jersey were related to distracted driving in 2015. This number is down from 190 crashes in 2014. Surprisingly, recent studies indicate that distracted driving caused more fatal crashes than drunk driving.
In the State of NJ, the use of a hand-held phone remains illegal while driving. New technologies have emerged that have allowed for easier use of hand-free communication. However, even using a hands-free device can be a distraction when on the road. New phone apps, such as navigational apps and texting apps have changed the way people are interacting with their phones while driving. Even using the voice feature on cell phones can increase the cognitive load of the driver and lead to distraction. While optimistic about the drop-in fatalities, safety officials insist that they will not let up on the message concerning the dangers of texting and driving.
The use of ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber may also be related to the drop-in alcohol related accidents. However, the recent trend to legalize recreational marijuana has some experts concerned about people driving while impaired by drugs. It is probable that as more people use marijuana, the number of accidents involving drivers under the influence will rise.