Most Common and Often Dangerous Traffic Violations in NJ
Advising Clients in Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Garwood, Elizabeth, and throughout Union County, Essex County, and northern Middlesex County.
Though all drivers on New Jersey roads have been trained and, for the most part, understand the proper and safe driving techniques for keeping everyone on the road safe, nearly everyone commits a traffic violation occasionally. Many minor violations occur every day, and while they seem small, they can cause a huge and dangerous mess. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a nationwide total of 36,750 deaths resulted from traffic accidents in 2018. In the state of New Jersey alone, 624 deaths resulted from traffic accidents between 2016 and 2017, NHTSA data showed. While some of these fatal accidents, and many nonfatal accidents, happen because of major violations of traffic safety laws as well as conditions outside of the control of drivers, some could have been prevented if the driver had not been committing a simple traffic violation that many of us commit every day. Read on to learn some of the most common, irritating, and dangerous traffic violations committed by New Jersey drivers on the road today.
Changing Lanes or Weaving without Signaling
Some drivers take liberties when it comes to obeying lane laws. Drivers whose hurry or impatience causes them to change lanes in order to speed ahead of and around other cars put all drivers at risk. Why? The proper flow of traffic depends on the consistency of speed and action among drivers as a collective. When a driver is constantly changing lanes to get ahead, they often rapidly accelerate and then immediately put on their brakes when they arrive at the next impediment to getting ahead. This erases the steadiness-of-speed factor and has the potential to catch multiple drivers off-guard, resulting in a multi-car collision.
Often as a byproduct of a driver impatiently weaving through the lanes to get ahead, tailgating is a habit many drivers have that puts everyone at risk. Though the tailgating driver is responsible should they collide with the car in front of them, all surrounding cars are placed at high risk when a driver acts irresponsibly in this way. Most cities and townships in New Jersey have tailgating laws to prevent drivers from this dangerous act, but the laws are difficult to enforce and rarely result in tickets for tailgating drivers.
Clogging an Intersection
This common traffic violation, done mostly in New Jersey’s metropolitan areas, places motorists, bikers, and pedestrians at risk. Crosswalks and intersections are clearly marked in order to provide safe passage for all who cross those thresholds. Blocking an intersection obviously creates cause for traffic backup; this alone increases the risk for accidents, as drivers are forced to stop abruptly in areas they do not expect to have to do so. Additionally, because bikers and pedestrians often must exit their designated safe zone in order to navigate cars clogging intersections, they place themselves at a much higher risk of being hit by a motorist.
Driving While Talking, Texting, or Navigating on a Cellphone
We all know talking on a handheld device is dangerous, and for that reason, many states including New Jersey have driving laws banning motorists from talking or sending messages unless the phone is in hands-free mode. However, due to the increasing prevalence of technology in our lives as a habit, many drivers continue to check their phones and respond to messages via text while driving. It goes without saying that this is dangerous and ill-advised; in fact, the National Safety Council reported that around 1.6 million accidents occur nationwide as a result of texting while driving. Such a dumb move places motorists, bikers, and pedestrians at huge risk, as reaction time is greatly increased by distracted driving from phone technology.
Parking in a Bicycle Lane or on the Sidewalk
When drivers disregard designated parking areas and choose to park in bike lanes or on the sidewalk as an act of convenience, they place pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists at risk. Bicyclists who are forced to quickly exit their designated riding zone while moving at high speeds are put in very dangerous situations, as parallel motor traffic may not notice the obstruction and therefore not give berth to the navigating bicyclist. In the same way, pedestrians who must leave the sidewalk for the road in order to walk around a car are placed at high risk, as a motorist may not be expecting a pedestrian in the roadway and may see them too late or not at all.
It’s our responsibility to obey New Jersey traffic laws, for our own safety and the safety of those around us. Remember: it’s worth being a bit late to arrive safe and sound.
Retain a Union County NJ Traffic Violations Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, our skilled team of attorneys supports clients in Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Garwood, Elizabeth, and throughout Union County, Essex County, and northern Middlesex County in all motor vehicle accident claims, including bicyclists and pedestrians hit by drivers committing traffic violations.