Growing numbers text and drive in NJ

    By: Phil Gregory

    A growing percentage of New Jersey drivers is sending text messages while behind the wheel, and the majority of motorists admit exceeding the speed limit.

    By: Phil Gregory
    philgregorynews@gmail.com

    A growing percentage of New Jersey drivers is sending text messages while behind the wheel, and the majority of motorists admit exceeding the speed limit. Those are some of the findings in a new Fairleigh Dickinson University survey of driving behavior.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090716pgdrivers.mp3]

    Even though it’s illegal to text message while driving in the Garden State, 21 percent of those questioned admit they’ve done it. That’s up from 15 percent a year ago. 84 percent of drivers say they drive at speeds above the posted limit. So why do they flout the law? Political science professor Dan Cassino says it’s in large part because of their perceptions of their driving abilities.

    Cassino: People who speed say well I’m a good driver because I’ve got more skill than the other drivers on the road. People who go slowly say I’m a better driver because I’m safer than other people on the road. So everyone has a good reason to believe that they’re a better driver than everyone else. And everyone thinks that they can get away with these things that nobody else should be doing.

    Cassino says the findings of the survey can be used by state officials to focus on dealing with driving distractions and behaviors that can lead to problems on the road.

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