New Jersey Traffic Fatalities Increase in 2016
Traffic fatalities in New Jersey jumped eight percent in 2016 – the largest increase in more than five years – according to a preliminary report released by New Jersey State Police.
If you have lost a loved one to a negligent driver, the New Jersey injury lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC may be able to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Last year, there were 573 auto accidents that killed 605 people, an increase from 2015, when 522 accidents resulted in 562 deaths. State Police noted that the state had been on a downward trend for several years, hitting a 20-year low in 2013 with 542 accident deaths. Deaths have been on the rise for the past three years.
The increase appeared to follow a national trend for 2016, which saw a nine percent increase in traffic deaths throughout the country in 2016.
A breakdown of the data shows that of the 607 people who were killed in traffic accidents in 2016:
- 333 driving a vehicle, including six under the age of 18 and 24 over the age of 80
- 167 were pedestrians
- 89 were passengers
- 18 were riding bicycles
Although New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety is still analyzing the data, it believes the leading cause of the increase will be speeding, failing to wear a seat belt or distraction behind the wheel, similar to previous years.
AAA New Jersey’s Director of Public Affairs and Government relations notes that distracted driving is having an increasing impact on highway safety.
Distracted driving includes anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the task of driving, including texting and driving, sending an email, checking social media, using the apps in your vehicle’s dashboard, eating, grooming and applying makeup.
A 2016 AAA study found that 94 percent of motorists interviewed believed that other drivers are very or somewhat distracted when using either a handheld or hands-free device while driving. Yet, 50 percent admitted to using a hands-free device to make a call while driving.
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