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Texting while driving linked to road rage, car accidents

It’s no surprise to New Jersey readers to hear that texting while driving creates hazards for everyone on the road. Reading and writing text messages takes a driver’s eyes off what is in front of them, which a dangerous thing do to when traveling at a high speed. On top of that already known and obvious risk, a new study from Career Builder analyzed the impact of texting while driving on commuters.

About 24 percent of the drivers surveyed reported that they had been in a car accident during their commute to work, and 30 percent admitted to texting while driving. As we’ve discussed before, the most drivers are aware of the danger of negligent behavior such as texting behind the wheel but continue to do it anyways.

The report also said that texting while driving is linked to road rage and may be an instigator for drivers becoming upset. This issue appeared to affect younger drivers more than older drivers, perhaps because of an increased frequency of texting for drivers 25 to 24 years old.

Texting while driving is both negligent and illegal in most states. New Jersey law bans both texting and use of a handled device while behind the wheel, but many in the state still take the risk and use their phones. Drivers who cause car accidents while texting may also be liable in a civil lawsuit for negligently causing injuries or property damage. As in other civil actions, violations of criminal code can be strong evidence of negligence.

Source: NBC News, “Texting-While-Driving May Lead to Road Rage: Report,” Alexandria Fisher, July 18, 2012.

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