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NHTSA Study Shows Distracted Driving Still a Problem

If the federal government has a website devoted exclusively to distracted driving, it’s a pretty safe bet that officials consider it a serious problem. According to the site (, distracted driving contributes to about one in ten traffic fatalities every year. That number decreased slightly for 2012, from 3,360 to 3,328. During the same period, though, there was a 30,000 incident increase in non-fatal traffic accidents where distracted driving played a part.

The website defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that takes you away from your ultimate responsibility—monitoring the road and safely operating a motor vehicle. Handheld devices remain the biggest culprit, but officials express concern about a broad range of activities, from applying makeup or combing your hair to reading a book or map, from eating or drinking to adjusting the stereo, from talking to a passenger or looking at a billboard to watching a video.

Targeting the use of hand-held devices, though, the government notes that, at any given moment, nearly 700,000 people are estimated to be using some sort of handheld devices while driving. When they do, the average amount of time that they are distracted from their true task? Approximately five seconds, the time it would take to drive the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour.

Research shows that younger drivers are far more likely to engage in distracted driving. About one quarter of the traffic fatalities related to distracted driving involved people in their 20s. Approximately 10% of fatal accidents include teenage drivers. Not surprisingly, about one in four teenage drivers say they regularly text or e-mail while driving, and 20% say they have extended e-mail or text message exchanges while operating a motor vehicle.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-537-8570.

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