A new report says that New Jersey has a higher rate of distracted driving crashes than almost any other state. The report was compiled by Zutobi, a driver education website.

According to their research, New Jersey has the second highest rate of fatal crashes due to distraction, trailing only New Mexico. New Jersey’s rate is 24.6% of all fatal driving crashes because of some form of distraction (New Mexico’s is 37.2%).

Data in this report has been gathered from different governmental websites, including the Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST) developed by NHTSA, the use of electronic devices, and fatal road crashes and injuries involving different age groups.

As you might expect, cell phones are a major culprit; nationally, about 8% of crashes with injuries can be attributed to cell phones, with the percentage growing in relation to the severity of the accident – for example, cell phones can be attributed to 13% of fatal distracted driving accidents in 2019.

There’s a wide spread of numbers among the states; the report says: “The large difference in distracted driving crashes could, in part, be attributed to different state guidelines on reporting distracted driving accidents. It can also be a result of extensive work by local governments on tackling distracted driving through anti-text laws, awareness campaigns, and more.”

Following New Mexico and New Jersey in the top five are Hawaii, Washington, and Virginia. The state with the lowest percentage of fatal crashes due to distraction are Mississippi, West Virginia, Georgia, Nevada, and Oregon. Our neighbors in Pennsylvania ranked #33 while New York was 11th.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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