Distracted Driving Laws in New Jersey

Date: May 18, 2023
man holding black smartphone

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is one of the most common causes of severe and fatal car accidents in the United States. While distracted driving accidents have become increasingly more common, particularly among teen drivers, they are also entirely preventable if motorists focus on the road at all times. If you or someone you know was injured in a distracted driving car accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving occurs when someone engages in any behavior or activity that takes their attention away from the road. This can include talking on the phone, reading or sending a text message, reaching for something in the back seat, or using a GPS. There are three types of distractions:

  • Visual distractions: This causes you to take your eyes off the road.
  • Manual distractions: Any distraction that causes you to take your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions: This type of distraction takes your focus and attention away from the activity of driving and paying attention to other motorists on the road.

Talking on the phone or texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions. In response to the growing number of distracted driving car accidents, many states, including New Jersey, have established laws that make using a phone while driving illegal.

What Is the New Jersey Cell Phone Use Law?

New Jersey distracted driving laws are strict. Motorists are prohibited from using a wireless phone or electronic communication device on public roads or highways unless the phone or device is hand-free. Even when using a hand-free device, motorists must use extreme caution. Studies show that conversation is more distracting than manual distractions. If you violate these laws, you could face the following penalties:

  • First offense: $200 to $400 fine.
  • Second offense: $400 to $600 fine.
  • Third or subsequent offense: $600 to $800 fine, three penalty points on your driver’s license, and a possible 90-day license suspension.

How Do I Prove That Another Motorist Was Distracted?

If you were injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver, you must be able to prove that the motorist was distracted at the time of the accident if you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are several ways that you can do this.

One of the first steps you should take is to hire an experienced distracted driving lawyer, who will conduct a thorough investigation and review all of the evidence from the accident scene to determine whether the other driver was distracted. For example, if there was a bag of take-out food in the car or an open make-up case on the passenger seat, this can help prove that the driver was eating or putting on make-up at the time of the accident.

The driver’s cell phone records may also be subpoenaed to confirm whether a text or phone call was made within the timeframe of the accident. A dedicated car accident lawyer will use this evidence to help prove liability and fight to recover distracted driving accident compensation.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC Represent Those Who Have Been Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured in a distracted driving accident, do not hesitate to contact our New Jersey car accident lawyers at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC. We will assist you with every step of the claims process and protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 732-800-9474 or contact us online. Located in Manasquan, New Jersey, we serve clients in Middlesex County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County.