September 25, 2014 | Number of The Day
Percentage of NJ drivers who say they’ve read emails or texts while behind the wheel

If you’ve ever shaken your head in wonder — or gripped the wheel in white-knuckled fright — at some of the antics of your fellow Jersey drivers, you may want to consider that 27 percent of them admitted to reading email or texts while driving.

That’s according to a new poll from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute and New Jersey Medical School.

Participants were asked about their perceptions of safety both as drivers and as passengers, which revealed an interesting disconnect. A full 87 percent of passengers reported that it’s very unsafe for the driver of a car to read emails or texts while driving. In addition, 57 percent felt that it’s very unsafe for a driver to talk while holding a phone, with another 27 percent finding it to be “somewhat” unsafe.

But 63 percent said they’ve taken or made phone calls while driving.

At least one activity appears to be thankfully beyond almost all drivers: reading a book, newspaper, or tablet. Of those polled, 96 percent said this was very unsafe and only 2 percent said they have ever done it.