The top cause of fatal vehicle crashes in New Jersey is a distracted driver, according to data from the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit. Driving while intoxicated was in second place.
Distracted drivers caused almost three times as many fatal accidents as speeding, which was the third-placed reason in the report based on 2018 accidents in the state.
Companies purposefully design technology to distract you while you are driving. They make GPS devices to let you navigate without stopping. They make hands-free speaker systems so that you can talk on your phone while driving. Doing two things at once is not conducive to safe driving. The moment you use one of these devices, you are removing some of your attention from the road.
You could argue that a satellite navigation system allows you to concentrate more than a road atlas did, and a hands-free system is less of a distraction than physically picking up your cellphone. Yet think back to the old days, before you had this technology. If you were trying to find a direction, you stopped and asked someone or pulled out your map. If you wanted to make a call, you pulled over at a phone booth. In both cases, you stopped driving to do the other thing. While not as convenient or quick, it was undoubtedly safer.
If you are involved in a car crash in New Jersey because another driver did not have their attention on the road, consider the legal options available to you.