According to a new report, motorists are taking their foot off the gas pedal a bit compared to the midst of the pandemic when speeding-related accidents and citations spiked. However, the Cambridge Mobile Telematics study says many drivers are taking their eyes off the road.
The data from February says motorists were distracted for an average of 1 minute and 38 seconds for each hour they drove. That’s a 30% increase from February 2020 before COVID-19 led to widespread lockdowns. Despite traffic levels plunging soon after, traffic deaths increased significantly.
The deadly toll of distracted driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3,142 people died from distracted driving crashes in 2019, the most recent statistics available. The three main types of distractions are:
- Visual: Not looking at the road.
- Manual: Take your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: Letting your mind wander while you drive.
Not surprisingly, smartphone use is the most common distraction. Taking your mind off the road for a little over a minute and a half out of one hour may not seem like much. However, for every five seconds of inattentiveness while traveling 55 mph, you cross a football field’s length.
New Jersey has a dubious ranking for distracted driving
Another study by driver education website Zutobia found the Garden State has the highest rate of distracted driving crashes than all other states except one. Nearly one out of every four fatal crashes in New Jersey (24.6%) involves a distracted driver. That’s second to New Mexico’s rate of 37.2%.
If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle crash caused by driver inattention, the attorneys at Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo can help. We have over 50 years of experience in handling motor vehicle collision cases and have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash and would like a free consultation with one of our experienced trial attorneys, please contact us.