The friends, family, and neighbors of thousands of people injured or killed nationwide each year in accidents where texting and driving was a factor that can attest to the mortal danger it causes.
Texting and driving kill, plain and simple. Unfortunately, despite technological advances such as voice-to-text applications, New Jersey’s roadways hold texting and driving as a major contributing factor. Between the years 2012 and 2016, more than 3,000 people were reported killed by distracted driving, including texting. Cell phone usage is responsible for about 22% of all distracted driving accidents in New Jersey.
Tow truck drivers need to contact their office many times during the day to know where to go for their next job, and the quickest way is with a text. Instead of pulling to the side of the road or pulling into a vacant parking lot, frequently tow truck drivers will sneak a quick look at their phones or fire off a text while driving, putting themselves and other motorists at risk.
Some Statistics on Fatal Car Accidents in New Jersey
Distracted driving was the leading cause of fatal accidents in New Jersey in 2018, more than speeding and driving while intoxicated. This is the eighth straight year that the analysis found distracted driving was the leading cause of fatal crashes in New Jersey.
We all know that heavier objects projected at great velocities take longer to stop than lighter ones. A tow truck can weigh anywhere from 5 to 50 tons. Add to that another 1.5 tons for the car; it is towing, and you have an incredible heavy machine going at speeds as high as 65mph. Remember how we were taught that an object in motion stays in motion? That means that the heavier an object is, the more momentum it has, which is why texting and driving a tow truck is especially dangerous.
According to experts, drivers cannot safely multitask behind the wheel, and there are studies to back them up. A 2012 National Safety Council study used driving simulator tests done by the University of Utah shows multitasking poses a cognitive distraction because the brain gets overloaded when asked to process several tasks at once. A different University of Utah and AAA study used road tests to study distracted drivers who were doing one of eight tasks while driving to measure distraction. A surprise result was the study found using a hands-free phone proved to be as distracting as using a handheld phone.
For that reason, New Jersey lawmakers established heavy fines for using a handheld device: $200 for the first infraction, $400 for the second, and the third infraction carries a fine of $600, a possible 90-day license suspension, and 3 motor vehicle penalty points.
Avoid Getting Distracted when Driving
Texting and driving is dangerous to tow truck drivers and the drivers around them. One look away from the road to your phone at reading or sending a text can put you in a horrible and dangerous situation. A tow truck can travel more than the length of a football field in seconds. It can be challenging to resist the temptation of looking at a phone; the conscious decision not to text and drive must be made.
Think back several decades ago when cellular technology did not exist. Businesses thrived, people went about their day, and the earth continued to revolve. Of course, it is more convenient to have a way to communicate with others instantly no matter where you are or what you are doing; however, unless it is a life or death emergency, you need not ever use your phone while driving. Texting and driving put your life and the lives of others at serious risk, which could lead to life-altering injuries or even death.
Please consult with an Experienced Attorney at our Firm
At Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, our attorneys are focused on providing constructive and effective legal solutions for clients across West Long Branch, Red Bank, Colts Neck, Asbury Park, and across Monmouth County.
Our unique approach to personal injury and vehicle accidents centers around offering our clients the best representation to resolve legal disputes efficiently. By listening carefully to all of your needs and concerns and keeping you highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we believe we can work together to achieve the results you need in your unique legal situation.