Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Reducing Accidents

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Reducing Accidents

Article excerpt

DRIVING AN automobile is not difficult. In fact, the great majority of time it is fairly easy, as long as the driver is using both hands and paying full attention to the road.

Not surprisingly, recently compiled data show that an extraordinary number of New Jersey traffic accidents occur when one or more cars involved is driven by a distracted driver. According to numbers released by acting Attorney General John Hoffman, driver inattention contributed to 1.4 million crashes during a 10-year period ending in 2013. That figure represented roughly half the crashes reported by police during that period.

"We need to put an end to the epidemic ... and close the book on the distracted driving decade," Hoffman said Monday in Paramus. He said the distracted driving crashes included 1,600 deaths, which led the attorney general to describe the problem as a "crisis."

The difference between this and most crises is that distracted driving could be drastically reduced if only drivers would curtail their cellphone use. In that vein, more than 200 New Jersey police departments are ramping up enforcement this month against drivers talking or texting while driving as part of a national crackdown. …

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