Specific Laws in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, all drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones. However, there are exceptions. These include situations in which the operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person, or the operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities of a fire, traffic accident, or other reckless driver sharing the roadways.
To go along with this, there is a fine in place for violating New Jersey’s cell phone or texting laws. This fine is $100. New Jersey’s cell phone laws fall under a group known as “primary” laws, which mean that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness another violation.
Specific Laws in New York
In 2013, New York made some changes from its already-enacted cellphone bans while driving. Before 2013, drivers in New York caught texting while driving would face a 3-point penalty on their driving records. However, after June 2013, that increased to five points. In addition to these penalties, drivers with probationary and junior licenses would get 60 days license suspension for a first conviction.
The truth of the matter is that distracted driving kills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted studies that showed that 69% of drivers in the U.S. aged 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within 30 days. The unfortunate numbers show that, in 2012 alone, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
Hands-Free Devices: Safer or Not?
It has been found within research that using a hands-free device doesn’t necessarily mean that this option is safer than using a handheld phone. This is because there are certain distractions that come with hands-free devices as well. Consider a driver who spends time fiddling with earpieces or a headphone on a hands-free device instead of paying attention to the road – sounds a bit more distracting than the task of dialing a number on a handheld cell phone, don’t you think? Some people also believe that Bluetooth that works through a car’s built-in microphone may be the safest route; however, just the simple act of holding a conversation while driving can pose a dangerous situation. This may not be so safe after all.
Safety Tips for Using a Cell Phone While Driving
New York and New Jersey may impose restrictions on driving and using a cell phone, sure, but not all states have these laws. This is why it is important to always remember to use precautions when using a cell phone. Take these simple suggestions as a way to make driving safer when using a cell phone:
- Try to make all calls when your vehicle is not in motion.
- Remember: The less dialing, the better. This means that you should program frequently called numbers into your phone.
- Keep your phone within easy reach.
- Pull over to take notes, and always take precautions to avoid dangerous areas.
- If possible, ask a passenger to take a call for you.
- Keep conversations as short as possible.
- Hold the phone at eye level if you must dial on your phone while driving. This makes it easier to see the road.
Now that you understand the laws of two specific states and what they say about handheld device safety, you should remember that using a cell phone while driving could cost you. If you have been injured in an accident in the state of New York or New Jersey and distracted driving was at play, you may have an injury claim. Call MDL today for a free consultation. They will work with you and use their experience in personal injury to get you the compensation you deserve.