Road safety is a concern for every New Jersey resident. Since so many people need to commute using state roadways whether they are going to work, school or on a personal trip, the chance of an auto accident is worrisome. This has grown worse with the spike in fatal crashes in the Garden State and across the nation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released statistics for fatal crashes. Nationally, there was somewhat positive news. The same cannot be said for New Jersey. With these numbers, drivers should be cautious and understand their rights after a crash.
New Jersey fatality numbers getting worse as national numbers get better
The NHTSA released its statistics for 2021 and found that nationally, there were around 43,000 road fatalities. This was the highest total since 2005 and was 10.5% higher than in 2020. Despite that, there were some positive signs when the numbers are put into a greater context.
Because the health challenges changed the way people lived and worked, there was less traffic than normal in 2020. In 2021, because people were driving with greater regularity – mileage increased by more than 11% – the numbers were technically better when considering how many miles people drove. For New Jersey, the trends have gotten worse.
For New Jersey and per the NHTSA numbers in 2022, there has been a nearly 15% increase in road fatalities when compared to the same time in 2021. In the Garden State, there were 241 road deaths for the first week of May in 2022. In 2021, there were 183. The drivers in these accidents were the most vulnerable to fatalities.
Other groups who were losing their lives in auto accidents were bicyclists with 11 in 2022 at last count. To counteract dangers, New Jersey legislators want to increase safety rules. Just this year, a rule was passed for drivers to give more room to pedestrians and bicyclists. Increased enforcement to crack down on driver misbehavior like texting and driving and aggressiveness is also being considered.
Those involved in or impacted by an accident should remember key points
Even with advanced safety features, law enforcement trying to stop risky activities behind the wheel and researchers highlighting what drivers and passengers should look out for, the dangers still present themselves unexpectedly.
After an auto accident, people will be reeling and wondering what the future holds. This can lead to mistakes like talking to the insurance company or accepting a settlement before determining what the physical, personal, professional and financial costs are. From the start, it is important to have professional help. Discussing the case with those experienced in these situations is vital.