If you are fairly new to New Jersey, and especially if you emigrated from another country, it may have taken some time to get used to state traffic laws and driving regulations. Obtaining a valid driver’s license may have been one of your main goals when you first came to live in the U.S. As you prepared for your driving test, someone likely taught you the importance of avoiding distractions behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is a causal factor in many serious collisions. Even if you are not a licensed driver, but travel as another person’s passenger or as a pedestrian in your community, you’re at risk for injury if a distracted driver is in your midst. As you adapt to life in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to learn where to seek support if a negligent driver causes you or your family injury.
Common driving distractions that place you at risk
New Jersey roadways are often busy, traffic-laden places. Taking your eyes off the road while driving for even a few seconds can lead to disaster. The following list includes the types of distraction that place all travelers at risk:
- There is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving. In fact, it is against the law in many states.
- Too much interaction with passengers can prove to be a fatal error for a driver. It’s always best to make sure those traveling with you are reasonably calm and that you stay focused on the road, not on conversations with your fellow travelers.
- Many people try to kill two birds with one stone while driving; for instance, putting on makeup or taking care of other personal grooming interferes with a driver’s ability to stay alert and cautious at the wheel.
- Smoking, eating, drinking and adjusting radio knobs are also significant factors in many distracted driving accidents.
You might be lucky enough to be able to distance yourself from a potentially distracted driver if you notice suspicious behavior in a nearby vehicle. It’s not always possible to safely avoid such situations, however. What if you recognize a need to move away from a particular car but you can’t even get into another lane because traffic is heavy and moving too fast?
If you suffer injury in a distracted driving accident
Car accidents are scary and can have long-lasting, negative effects on your life. Even a non-life- threatening injury can cause you to have to take time off work. If you happen to be someone who just recently came to the U.S., you may not be able to afford missing even a few days’ worth of income. In such situations, it can be helpful to talk to someone who understands how the civil justice system works. New Jersey law allows you to seek legal accountability against a negligent driver who caused you injury.