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Albert Buzzetti & Associates, L.L.C.

Stay alert to protect yourself against a distracted driver

Most states including New Jersey enforce a ban on texting while driving.

However, there are many other kinds of distractions for drivers, and you must stay alert to the possibilities.

Crash prevention

In 2015, a research team at the Texas A&M School of Public Health conducted a study related to texting and vehicle accidents. Their findings indicated that between 2003 and 2010, hospitalizations from car crashes declined by 7 percent in states that enforced bans on texting while driving. Since the study focused solely on hospitalization rates, the researchers concluded that the actual benefit of texting bans is probably much greater.

By the numbers

Some studies indicate that young people between the ages of 16 to 24 engage in most of the texting-while-driving activities across the nation, but according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, adults from 25 to 40 continually check their text messages and emails while driving and may be the biggest offenders. However, texting is not the only activity that causes problems. For example, distracted driving was responsible for causing the deaths of 3,450 people in 2016, and the year before, it was listed as the cause of 351,000 injuries in car crashes.

Other distractions

Distracted driving is the term given to anything that takes attention away from driving. This could be something as simple as turning your head to talk to the passenger next to you, or to check on the child in the back seat. It could be eating a sandwich, drinking coffee or applying makeup—and you have probably seen a driver who is reading a book while driving!

Alert and alive

Obviously, it is rarely going to be possible to tell whether the driver coming toward you is texting, adjusting the car radio or eating a taco, so you can only resolve to remain alert and watchful. However, if you do become the victim of a car crash, remember that you have a right to compensation to cover your medical expenses and more. An in-depth investigation will establish the cause of the accident, and you will know whether distracted driving was responsible.

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