The New Jersey State Police report that there were 566 traffic fatalities in 2018, which was down 9.3% from the previous year when there were 624 deaths in car crashes. A story in North Jersey.com quotes Chuck Farmer of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS): “It is encouraging. It’s always nice to see the numbers going down.” Farmer admitted that it would be difficult to identify what contributed to the nearly 10 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, and he added that there is no guarantee that this year’s numbers will show an improvement.
The state police classified the 2018 fatalities in this way:
- Driver 276
- Passenger 95
- Pedal cyclist 17
- Pedestrian 175
The highest numbers of traffic fatalities were between the ages of 40 and 79.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 37,000 traffic deaths in 2017, the most recent year available. NHTSA Deputy Director Heidi R. King said, “Dangerous actions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are still putting many Americans, their families and those they share the road with at risk. Additionally, we must address the emerging trend of drug-impaired driving to ensure we are reducing traffic fatalities and keeping our roadways safe for the traveling public.”
The NHTSA continues to launch safety campaigns, such as “If you feel different, you drive different,” and “Drive sober or get pulled over” to remind drivers about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, but people continue to make the dangerous choice to drive drunk or drugged.
What contributes to traffic fatalities?
Three of the biggest contributors to traffic crashes that cause injuries and fatalities include:
- Driving too fast for conditions or exceeding the posted speed limit killed 9,717 people, which was more than 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
- Distracted driving. SMH, a texting acronym which stands for “shaking my head,” is engraved on a headstone in an image on the NHTSA website about the terrible, increasing problem of distracted driving. About 3,166 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2017. Texting or using a cell phone while driving is a primary offense in New Jersey with a fine for a first offense of $200-$400, to $600 – $800 for third or subsequent offenses, 3 points on your insurance and a possible 90-day license suspension.
- Drunk and drugged driving. There were 10,874 traffic deaths from drunk driving in 2017, which is about 30 fatalities a day, or one person every 48 minutes.
Regardless of how safe you are on the road you have zero control over the conduct and driving habits of the other drivers with whom you share the roadways. If you have been injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike, or any of the other highways in our congested driving state, the experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow are here to represent your interests.