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Distracted Driving Overview
Distracted driving kills. The friends, family, and neighbors of the thousands of people killed nationwide each year in distracted driving crashes will tell you it is a very serious safety problem. The nearly half a million people injured each year will agree. Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on New Jersey’s roadways. Driver inattention has been a major contributing factor in nearly 750,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state since 2009 and nationwide, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2012 alone.
Distracted Driving Key Facts and Statistics
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
Using a cell phone or smartphone
It is a primary offense for a motorist to talk or text message with a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device while driving.
Use of a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic
communication device includes, but is not limited to:
Talking or listening to another person.
Text messaging or sending an electronic message.
There is a fine for violating this statute; no points will be assessed for the offense.
The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if:
The operator has reason to fear for his/her life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against him/herself or another person.
The operator is using this device to report to appropriate authorities: a fire; traffic crash; serious road hazard; medical or hazardous material emergency; or another motorist who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The amended law took effect on March 1, 2008.
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, including maps
Using a navigation system
Watching a video
Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and
cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming
No Phone Zone
Watch the Video
Make your car a
No Phone Zone
. This video clip features Oprah Winfrey as she talks with experts who describe the dangers of driving distracted as well as victims of distracted driving who recall their personal accounts.
The State of NJ, this department and division are not affiliated with the "No Phone Zone" campaign. We do not endorse Oprah, Oprah.com or any of the advertisers you will encounter at her Web site or while viewing her videos.
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