Andrew Rubin, Esq.

The most frequent cause of distracted driving may surprise you

Many New Jersey residents know how dangerous distracted driving is and they pride themselves on avoiding such dangers-they don't use cellphones behind the wheel for talking or texting, they don't get too focused on adjusting the radio, and they even keep their kids from pestering them from the backseat. Avoiding these types of distractions make for great driving habits. A recent study, however, suggests that many New Jersey residents may be guilty of distracted driving even when their cellphones are turned off and their eyes are on the roads.

The study, performed by an insurer, found that the main type of distracted driving is simply daydreaming, or becoming lost in one's thoughts. It reported that this type of distraction was involved in 62 percent of fatal distracted driving accidents in 2010 and 2011. In second place was cell phone use, which was involved in only 12 percent of the fatal accidents analyzed.

These findings are interesting, but it is important to note that they may be skewed. The insurer used crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as police reports, and of course in many car accidents drivers do not admit they were distracted--thus the data may not be complete.

Nonetheless, the study is an indicator of distractions that drivers must avoid. The other distractions that the study addressed were: people or events outside of the vehicle; occupants in the vehicle; using or reaching for a device in the car; eating or drinking; adjusting climate controls or music; adjusting mirrors or navigation systems or other controls; moving objects inside the vehicle, such as a pet; and smoking.

When people are injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, they can often hold that driver accountable with a civil action. The same is true of families who have lost loved ones in distracted driving car accidents. Victims of car accidents may wish to discuss the accident with a personal injury trial lawyer to learn about their rights and options.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Insurer Analyzes Top 10 Driving Distractions Involved in Fatal Car Crashes," April 4, 2013

  • Our civil litigation and appeals law firm in New Jersey holds negligent drivers accountable when people are injured or killed in car accidents. More information about this area of our practice is available on our Personal Injury and Wrongful Death page.

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