Bicycling and texting is a growing problem
"It is a growing problem, but I think we have to keep it in the context that many more people are now possessing cellphones," said Charles Brown, senior research specialist with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. "So you have many drivers who are distracted while driving, you have many pedestrians who are distracted while walking, and it just so happens that now you also see an increase in the number of people who are distracted while riding a bicycle."
However, this means there's an increase in the number of people who are biking in the first place, which Brown said is exciting to see.
Currently, there is no law in New Jersey making biking and texting illegal, but Brown said there should be a focus on some laws to ticket those who are distracted while biking.
"But I think we also need to enforce the laws that are currently in place for motorists as well," he said. "We do not want to see the conflict between bicyclers and pedestrians that we currently see between motorists who are texting and pedestrians."
Rutgers is in the process of conducting a study to find solutions to decrease the number of people distracted or texting while driving or walking, according to Brown.
"We have not looked specifically at distracted bicycling, but I think that's something that will be a great next step," he said.
Brown said biking and texting is dangerous because it takes your attention away from what you should be doing: focusing on the road and focusing on those around you.