Driving is something most people do almost every day. In fact, it can become so routine that we hardly process the fact that we are operating an incredibly powerful vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. We can also forget just how deadly these machines can be when they crash.
Because of this disconnect, people take unnecessary risks while driving without recognizing or caring about the fact that they are putting lives in danger. One such risk is texting while driving, which remains a serious problem in New Jersey. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution.
Why distracted driving is so dangerous
Drivers generally wouldn't take their hands off the wheel, close their eyes and try to solve a puzzle for several seconds while driving down the highway at 70 mph or navigating congested streets. They wouldn't do this because it would be unsafe.
However, this is essentially when texting and driving looks like. People are looking down at their phones, not at the road; their hands are typing messages, not on the wheel; their focus is on the conversation, not the task of driving. These visual, manual and cognitive distractions occur simultaneously making the texting driver a serious hazard.
What is being done to stop it?
Massive efforts have been made to stop texting and driving. In New Jersey, for instance, it is a primary offense that can cost a driver hundreds of dollars. States are also examining solutions like the Textalyzer, which is a controversial device that would allow police to look at recent usage data on a driver's phone.
Despite these and other solutions, though, drivers still text and drive.
While it is not possible to stop every driver from texting and driving, people injured in accidents caused by a texting driver can hold that person accountable for his or her actions by filing a personal injury. In addition to seeking compensation for the injured parties, these lawsuits can reinforce the message that distracted drivers can be liable for the consequences of their recklessness when they choose to text and drive.