New Jersey is among the majority states that have banned texting while driving, and one of just 14 states to also ban the use of handheld cellphones behind the wheel. There is little doubt that these comprehensive laws have had a positive impact on road safety. But are they doing enough to reduce distracted driving and related car accidents?
One state legislator doesn’t think so. Recently, Senator Richard Codey of Essex County sponsored a bill that would make it illegal to text while stopped at red lights and stop signs. Currently, this practice is both legal and common.
Some may see this legislation as unnecessary. After all, how could it be dangerous to interact with your cellphone while stopped? But with all we now know about the effects of distraction and multitasking, there are likely some good arguments to be made for banning the practice.
One of the reasons that texting while driving is so dangerous is that it takes the driver’s eyes and mind off of the road. But even after returning eyes to the road, it can take several seconds for the driver to switch their focus back to driving. Studies continue to show that almost no one is as effective at multitasking as they think they are.
Moreover, many drivers do not wait to come to a complete stop before looking at their phones; nor do they always put their phones down before getting moving again. It hardly seems safe to have drivers looking at their cellphones at intersections, which are often full of bicyclists and pedestrians,
It’s unclear if this proposed legislation will get the support it needs to pass. But at the very least, it continues the discussion about distracted driving. And that’s a conversation topic we can’t afford to ignore.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to another drivers negligence contact the Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law for a free case review. You call us at 856-354-9444.