What are the Distracted Driving Laws in New Jersey?

July 14, 2017

shutterstock_495533635.jpgDistracted driving creates problems for everyone. From 2010-2014, it contributed to over 817,000 accidents in New Jersey. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else driving while distracted, your lawyer can help you properly introduce that into evidence to show the driver was at fault.

What Is Distracted Driving?

You probably picture distracted driving as someone texting while driving. While texting represents a current common and dangerous example, the state of New Jersey defines many other kinds of behavior that can distract a driver from their primary task of driving. Here are some additional driving while distracted examples:

  • talking on the phone
  • applying makeup
  • tuning a radio
  • talking to others in the car
  • taking care of children or pets
  • eating and drinking

Any of these behaviors can lead to substantial fines, as well as points and license suspension.

Penalties Imposed

A driver cited for using a handheld device while driving is subject to particular penalties:

  • a first offense receives a fine of $200-$400
  • a second offense receives a fine of $400-600
  • a third offense receives a fine of $600-800, 3 points on the license and license suspension for up to 90 days

These penalties stem from the seriousness with which New Jersey treats the problem of driving while distracted. If the other driver is convicted, this should serve as evidence in your favor.

Evidence in Your Accident Case

New Jersey has placed a limit on evidentiary use of convictions. A driver who pleads guilty to a traffic offense can apply for a civil reservation, which prevents you from using the guilty plea as evidence of fault in your accident. A skilled attorney will help you establish the fact of the distraction, even if you cannot use the conviction itself as evidence. If you know the other driver was distracted, you can establish that in court to help show fault.

Distracted driving creates unnecessary dangers in New Jersey and everywhere in the country. If another driver's distraction caused you a serious injury, contact Stern & Stern LLP so we can help you get the recovery you deserve.