Part 2: New Jersey Accident Lawyers at Console & Hollawell Warn Teens of the Dangers of Distracted Driving in Recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week

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In the second installment of their National Teen Driver Safety Week series, the Freehold Township auto accident lawyers at Console & Hollawell want teens to be aware of the serious consequences of distracted driving.

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There is no excuse for risking your life, that of your passengers, and the lives of everyone on the road for a text message—the text can wait.

In the second installment of their National Teen Driver Safety Week series, the Freehold Township auto accident lawyers at Console & Hollawell want teens to be aware of the serious consequences of distracted driving. National Teen Driver Safety Week is held the third week of each October since it was first recognized by Congress in 2007, with the aim of promoting safe driving practices for young drivers, according to Teen Driver Source.*

One of the most deadly dangers facing teen motorists is distracted driving. This term refers to any action while operating a vehicle that takes your attention away from the road. Distracted driving is generally divided into three classifications:

  • Manual, taking your hands off the wheel
  • Visual, taking your eyes off the road
  • Cognitive, taking your mind off of driving

Monmouth County car accident attorney, Richard P. Console, Jr. explained that, “the major problem in this country with distracted driving is still fairly new, because as technology continuously evolves, the law needs time to catch up with it.”

Laws are still being passed to prevent distracted driving today; the law prohibiting novice drivers from using a cell phone (hands-free or not) just went into effect in August 2012, according to the U.S. Government website for distracted driving, Distraction.gov.**

“Distracted driving is unlike other, well-known hazards on the roadway such as drunk driving,” Console said. “It has been well-documented for years what kind of effects alcohol has on your ability to safely operate a vehicle. The research on distracted driving, however, is still being uncovered every day, and laws will only appear once it has been proven that regulations prohibiting distracted driving would make a positive impact.”

Texting is one of the most common types of distracted driving and it is also extremely dangerous as it causes all three types of distraction, according to Distraction.gov.***

When one texts while driving, their eyes will be off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, if they are travelling at 55 miles per hour, they would have traveled the length of a football field blind before they look back up at the road, according to Distraction.gov.***

There are 30 states plus Washington D.C. that have laws in place prohibiting the use of cell phones, both hand-held and hands-free, for novice drivers (typically those between the ages of 16 and 20, but it varies by state).** And for good reason because studies have shown that hands-free usage of a cell phone is not significantly safer than hand-held devices; on the contrary hands-free devices still decrease the amount of brain activity that is associated with driving by nearly 40 percent, according to Distraction.gov.***

Console suggests that the absolute best way from preventing accidents and becoming another statistic associated with distracted driving is to always keep your attention on the task at hand, driving. Never text or make phone calls while you are driving, if you absolutely need to use your phone, pull your car over safely, park, and then do what you need to. There is no excuse for risking your life, that of your passengers, and the lives of everyone on the road for a text message—the text can wait.

Console & Hollawell’s injury attorneys in Freehold Township have been advocating for safe driving and protecting the rights of accident victims throughout New Jersey since 1994. Be sure to check out the third installment tomorrow, October 17, on teen drivers and seatbelt usage.

** http://www.sr22insurance.net/distracted-driving/
*** http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html

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