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Distracted drivers leading cause of New Jersey traffic deaths

According to a New Jersey State Police analysis, for the sixth year in a row, distracted driving has been the top cause of traffic deaths in the Garden State. Distracted drivers were implicated in almost 40 percent of the fatal crashes in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available. Impaired driving and speeding were second and third, respectively.

In 2016, there were 570 fatal car accidents -- with 602 deaths, an increase over the previous year -- in New Jersey. Of those, 217 of the crashes involved distracted driving, which can include such activities as texting, eating, or even putting on makeup. These crashes occurred in spite of the state's attempts to curb distracted driving.

New Jersey has some of the country's toughest distracted driving laws. All handheld devices are banned, and drivers under the age of 21 are altogether prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. Texting and driving is strictly prohibited while driving. Even someone who sends a text to a person they know is driving can be held liable if the recipient is involved in an accident while reading or responding to the message. But such laws can be difficult to enforce.

When an individual has been involved in a car accident with an inattentive driver, they may be entitled to compensation to help cover the expenses caused by the accident, like medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The problem with distracted driving cases, though, is that they can be difficult to prove. For this reason, it's crucial that an accident victim contact a seasoned lawyer with experience handling these types of cases. An experienced attorney can help make sure that a victim receives all the compensation they deserve.

Source: NJ.com, "Distracted driving leading cause behind fatal crashes in 2016," Larry Higgs, Jan. 22, 2018

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