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Why do people still text and drive?

In New Jersey, plenty of dangers exist on the roads. Distracted driving is an umbrella term for many of them, including one that has gotten quite a lot of press lately. This is texting while driving, an issue that some professionals are saying will one day surpass the dangers of driving under the influence.

Despite knowing that distracted driving is risky, CBS News claims that many people continue texting while driving despite the dangers. They also ask a critical question: why exactly do people still do it if they know it's dangerous?

Drowsy driving is linked with dangerous outcomes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 800 people were killed in 2017 because of drowsy driving. Yet, many people still do not realize how dangerous drowsy driving can be.

Falling asleep at the wheel can obviously lead to accidents. However, driving while tired can be dangerous even if you do not fall asleep at the wheel. When you are tired, you may be less attentive to the road, you may have a slower reaction time and you may have a reduced ability to make good decisions. These are some of the same impairments you would have if you were driving drunk.

Hearing loss America’s most common workplace injury

Listen up, those of you who work in moderately loud work environments across New Jersey: You face an especially high risk of work-related hearing loss, and there are things you and your employer should be doing to protect your hearing. At Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson, we recognize that hearing loss has become a widely prevalent problem for America’s workforce, and we have helped many people whose hearing suffered as a result of their work environments pursue appropriate recourse.

According to USA Today, work-related hearing loss has become so common across the United States that it is now the most frequent work-related injury experienced by American employees. In fact, about 22 million American workers undergo exposure to dangerous noise levels every year, and this costs the nation about $242 million annually in hearing loss-related workers’ compensation costs.

Teen driver-involved crashes spike during “100 Deadliest Days”

As a New Jersey motorist, you face certain seasonal dangers, and while snow, ice and inclement weather can make wintertime driving particularly difficult, there are also unique hazards you face when you drive in the summer. At Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson, we recognize that teenage driver-involved car crashes rise substantially during the time period known as summer’s “100 Deadliest Days,” and we have helped many people who suffered injuries in car wrecks involving teenage drivers and others seek recourse.

According to AAA, the “100 Deadliest Days” fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, which is a time when most students and teenagers are out of school for the summer and more likely to be on the roads. So, just how dangerous is it to be a motorist during summer’s 100 Deadliest Days?

New Jersey's pedestrian deaths spike

Spring has arrived in New Jersey and this is a common time of year for many people to get outside and be more active. Those who may have joined gyms as part of their New Year's resolutions may find that walking or jogging outside can be a great complement to their exercise and health routines. Certainly, these activities can be good for a person's health and wellness but there are risks that people should be aware of as well.

One of the big risks that walkers, joggers or runners face is being hit by a car or other motor vehicle. In fact, pedestrian deaths in New Jersey spiked in 2017 to its highest level in at least a decade according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year, a total of 183 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. That year saw 20 more such deaths than the prior year when 163 people died, down from 170 in 2015.

New Jersey crash results in deaths of 2 teens

A community is in shock, and high school students are receiving emergency grief counseling, after a head-on collision that claimed the lives of two teenagers in Ringwood, New Jersey. The two teenage boys lived in nearby Wanaque, where they formerly attended the regional high school and were still known to the students there. The driver was 19 and his passenger was 17. Authorities pronounced each dead at the scene.

The accident occurred last Wednesday afternoon on the Greenwood Lake Turnpike. The section of road where the collision took place is relatively straight and sees few accidents despite the turnpike's reputation for curves. For reasons that are still unclear, the 19-year-old driver of the southbound vehicle clipped a guardrail after veering onto the shoulder. The vehicle then spun into the opposite lane, where a van driving in the other direction hit the vehicle head-on. Responders transported the sole occupant of the van, a 64-year-old man, to a hospital in Paterson, New Jersey, for treatment of minor injuries. The current condition of the van driver is unknown. 

Study: Cognitive distraction and hands-free cellphones

Millions of people across the country are guilty of using their cellphones while navigating the busy roadways. Sadly, approximately 391,000 people were injured and 3,450 were killed in catastrophic car accidents in the United States during a one-year period. As a result, many states, including New Jersey, prohibit the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Some drivers have started using hands free cellphones as a way to use their cellular devices while staying in compliance with the law. Studies show, however, that even hands-free cellphones pose a risk to drivers and other people who are sharing the road.

A study published by AAA found that hands free cellphones still generate a significant amount of cognitive distraction, which could lead to car accidents. Researchers asked participants to engage in several distractive tasks while operating a simulator vehicle, as well as an actual vehicle equipped with monitoring devices. The tasks included:

  •          Talking to a passenger in the vehicle
  •          Maintaining a conversation using a hand-held cellphone
  •          Using a hands-free cellular device
  •          Listening to the radio
  •          Listening to an audio book
  •          Composing an email using voice activated technology

The top causes of house fires

Almost nothing can be more terrifying than the thought of being trapped in a house fire. Unfortunately for many residents of New Jersey and elsewhere, this fear becomes a reality, especially in the winter months. This month, according to U.S. News & World Report, a 72-year-old woman from Edison died in the hospital two days after being rescued from a fire in her home. Authorities said she suffered from smoke inhalation, but they had not yet released a cause for the fire.

It is possible that one of five main causes of house fires resulted in the fire that tragically took this woman’s life. The National Fire Protection Association has listed these factors for the public’s safety and awareness. They include the following:

  • Candles, with New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve being the top three days house fires are started by candles in the United States
  • Cooking, especially with a gas stove or barbeque
  • Electrical fires, particularly those started by faulty or outdated wiring
  • Heating equipment, such as space heaters or fireplaces
  • Smoking, such as when someone falls asleep with a lit cigarette or fails to properly put out a cigarette butt

With workers’ comp, it’s about location, location, location

One of the overriding factors about workers’ compensation in New Jersey is where the accident happened. Unless very specific circumstances are met, if you are injured on the work premises you can argue for workers’ comp and if you are even one foot off the work premises when you are injured, arguments for workers’ comp will fall flat.

It’s called the premises rule and it means simply that where you are when you are injured makes a big difference.

Electronic logging devices for truckers

The issue of truck driver fatigue is one that has plagued the commercial trucking industry for a long time. Residents in New Jersey know that truckers are often behind the wheel for many long and lonely hours at a time. In addition, drivers are frequently on the road during the dark when the inclination to be tired may be even greater than in the daylight. This puts other motorists or people on the road at risk when a trucker does not take adequate breaks to stay alert when driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 295 lives were lost in New Jersey between 2013 and 2017 in motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial trucks. This number of fatalities highlights the ongoing problem of truck safety on area roads and highways.

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Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson
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Toms River, NJ 08753

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