New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer Applauds Efforts to Raise Awareness About Distracted Driving Among Teenagers

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Joseph Ginarte, a New Jersey personal injury attorney, says cell phone use, texting behind the wheel and other distractions pose significant threats to young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them.

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New Jersey car accident lawyer Joseph A. Ginarte

Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, but especially for teenagers and inexperienced drivers who may not be able to react quickly or respond to dangerous situations.

New Jersey car accident lawyer Joseph A. Ginarte today commended New Jersey leaders for bringing attention to the dangers of distracted driving during National Teen Driver Safety Week.

A recent news report on New Jersey 101.5 indicated that distracted driving was one of the topics emphasized during this year’s weeklong focus on safe driving for young motorists.

“Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, but especially for teenagers and inexperienced drivers who may not be able to react quickly or respond to dangerous situations,” said Ginarte, founder of Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, a personal injury law firm with offices in Newark and throughout the northern New Jersey and New York City metro area.

“Helping teens and parents to understand the dangers of distracted driving should be a goal for all policymakers,” he said. “The decision by the New Jersey Division of Traffic Safety to focus on distracted driving during National Teen Driver Safety Week was a smart choice that could help to save lives.”

N.J. Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky was quoted in the N.J. 101.5 article as saying, “All drivers can be distracted by cell phones, adjusting the radio, using a navigation system, CD player, or MP3 device. However, it is our most inexperienced drivers -- teens -- who are the most likely to put themselves and others in harm’s way by driving distracted.”

As a New Jersey car accident attorney, Ginarte regularly helps clients who were injured as a result of all forms of distracted driving.

“Taking your eyes off of the road even for a second can be dangerous. When you do it for long enough to text, or when you are focusing on a phone call and not the road, the consequences can be deadly,” Ginarte said.

Information on texting and driving from Distraction.gov reinforces Ginarte’s concerns about electronic device use, especially for teens. According to the site, talking on a cell phone reduces the brain activity used for driving by 37 percent. Texting presents an even bigger issue since it requires taking eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, a texting driver can drive for the length of an entire football field while looking at the phone instead of the road.

New Jersey has laws limiting the use of electronic devices while driving. Drivers are not permitted to use a cell phone without a hands-free device, and this prohibition extends both to talking and texting. Drivers who use a handheld cell phone behind the wheel can be ticketed and fined.

“The bans on texting and talking are a good first step in cutting distracted driving, but they are not enough.” Ginarte cautioned. Drivers do not always obey the laws on electronic devices, and headset or hands-free use may not be substantially safer than handheld use, he said.

Teens are also more prone to taking risks when driving. In fact, Distraction.gov indicates that 40 percent of all American teens reported being in a car with a driver using a cell phone in a risky manner.

“Efforts like the New Jersey programs during National Teen Driver Safety Week are an important step in creating awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and educating drivers about the risks,” Ginarte said.

Programs included officials talking to teens at high schools about the dangers of distracted driving. The “Share the Keys” program launched by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety and Kean University also created safe driving orientations for parents and teens to help cultivate good driving behavior.

“Parents need to set an example for their kids. If an adult drives and texts or drives and talks on the phone, teens may see that and think it is OK. While it isn’t safe for anyone to drive and use electronic devices, teens may be more likely to get hurt simply because of their inexperience,” Ginarte said.

Ginarte urged victims of distracted driving accidents to consult with a qualified New Jersey car accident attorney like the ones at Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd.

About Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd

For more than 30 years, Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP, has served the residents of the New Jersey and New York metro area. In addition to its general practice, the firm assists clients with legal claims arising from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice and other personal injury cases. The firm also represents clients in employment discrimination, Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation matters. The Ginarte law firm features offices located in New York City, Newark, Elizabeth, Clifton, Union City and Perth Amboy. The firm’s Newark office is located at 400 Market Street, Newark, NJ 07105 (local phone (973) 854-8400). The firm can assist Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking clients. To learn more, call 1-888-GINARTE or use the firm’s online contact form.

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