A new report from New Jersey State Police shows that the number of fatal car crashes in the state increased in 2016, for the third year in a row. According to these preliminary statistics, 607 people lost their lives in car accidents in the Garden State in 2016. This total includes:
- 333 drivers
- 166 pedestrians
- 90 vehicle passengers
- 18 cyclists
Tracking these statistics may seem grim, but they give police, safety groups, and motorists all an opportunity to see where and how accidents occur. This is the first step in preventing similar accidents, and reducing the number of fatalities on New Jersey roads.
Where do New Jersey car accidents happen?
As in previous years, many of these accidents occurred on New Jersey’s deadliest roads. These areas typically see high traffic moving at high speeds, where crashes can cause serious and even fatal injuries.
In 2016, the counties that tallied the most fatalities from car accidents include:
- Burlington County: 50 deaths
- Middlesex County: 49 deaths
- Monmouth County: 49 deaths
In 2015, these counties had 48, 41 and 47 deaths from traffic accidents, respectively. This was still enough to hold the top three spots, but reflects the increase in fatal accidents overall.
What do past statistics tell us about this trend?
According to statistics from the State Police, the 607 deaths on New Jersey roads in 2016 represents an eight percent increase in traffic fatalities over the previous year. In 2015, 562 died in NJ car accidents.
The 2016 total marks the highest number of car accident fatalities in New Jersey since 2011. The totals have been on the rise since 2013, when 542 motorists died. This was a two-decade low for the state. Even with an increase of 45 deaths over 2015, the numbers show how far the state has come. Just 20 years ago, New Jersey recorded 809 deaths from traffic incidents.
What causes these fatal car accidents?
Sometimes, accidents occur because drivers simply make careless mistakes. But other times, there is a reason the driver fails to follow traffic and safety rules. This may include:
- Internal or external distractions
- Alcohol or drug use
Distracted drivers are everywhere today. New Jersey passed a much-discussed law that banned any distraction that might take your concentration off the road in 2016, but people continue to text, enter information into apps, and talk on the phone on the state’s highways and roads.
Drunk and drugged drivers continue to be a problem, and drivers who are drowsy can be just as dangerous. Both drugs and fatigue can slow reaction time, cloud judgment, and make drivers take chances they would not normally take.
Other factors that lead to traffic deaths include speeding and failing to wear a seat belt. Speeding plays a role in a large number of accidents, and makes those primarily caused by distracted, drowsy, or drunk driving worse. In some cases, accidents are unavoidable. However, whether the car’s occupants are wearing seat belts can make the difference in a minor fender bender and a fatal accident.
Let Cordisco & Saile, LLC Help After a New Jersey Car Accident
If you lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries in an accident, you may be eligible to file a claim and receive compensation from the liable party. This compensation may help cover medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. At Cordisco & Saile, LLC, we can help you identify all liable parties, collect evidence to strengthen your case, file your claim, and negotiate a fair and just settlement.