Fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey increased 15 percent between 2013 and 2017 for a variety of reasons, though traffic deaths fell by almost two percent across the rest of the country.Various factors are said to be driving the increase in fatal traffic deaths in New Jersey,and here we’ll share the hard data from several studies, breaking down the trends.
Drunk Driving Accidents
A third of all traffic fatalities in New Jersey are due to drunk drivers. In roughly eighty percent of these accidents, the driver had a blood alcohol content level of over 0.08.
New Jersey has moved forward with legislation to mandate the use of ignition interlock devices or IIDs for all convicted drunk drivers. This puts New Jersey in line with 33 other states that order convicted drunk drivers to use interlock devices. New Jersey goes one step further than other states by not allowing exceptions for first time offenders. This will go a long way to curtailing the thirteen billion dollars that traffic crashes cost the state each year, because most drunk drivers are repeat offenders.
Pedestrian Death Rates
Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in New Jersey. There were 184 such deaths in 2017 and 160 in 2016. These are the deadliest accidents because pedestrians have no protection when hit by a car. The odds of such accidents and their severity rise in the winter.
New Jersey law says that drivers should yield to pedestrians, though there are exceptions. Some don’t yield, and others can’t as they’re sliding on the ice. This contributes to the relatively high number of pedestrian accidents and the tragedies where multiple people are injured in one incident, such as when a car plows through a crosswalk. Speeding and distracted driving also contribute to these accidents and the associated fatalities.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of an accident like this, seek expert legal advice so you can receive proper compensation for the steep medical bills these incidents cause. You should also consider working with a NYC lawyer. The benefit of personal injury lawyers in NYC is that they are familiar with both Jersey and NYC laws. So, they’ll be better able to help you fight a guilty New York driver or if you were a visiting New York resident yourself.
Trends in Teen Traffic Death Rates
Teen drivers are at greater risk than older, more experienced drivers. However, a NHTSA report shows that the national death rates for teen drivers aged 16 and 17 years old, are 15 to 25 percent higher than prior years. This is attributed to a sharp rise in distracted driving among teens who are accustomed to responding immediately to texts and calls.
Teen drivers’ death rates are actually dropping in New Jersey. This is attributed to New Jersey adopting the Graduated Driver License that puts restrictions on new drivers. New drivers must meet certain requirements before they graduate to an unrestricted driver’s license. Until then, they have to have a red tag on the car bumper so that others know that they’re an inexperienced driver, are not allowed more than one teen passenger, and cannot drive between 11pm and 5am.
New Jersey’s recent increase in traffic fatalities can be alarming when considering that the rate of fatal road accidents fell on the national level. Thankfully, there are areas where New Jersey is doing better than the average, and the state seems to be serious in its efforts to reduce accident rates.