Driving through the streets of New Jersey is probably an everyday activity for you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from learning more about dealing with accidents. The best way to deal with car accidents is to avoid them altogether, and if you know exactly what to look out for on the road, you’ll have a much better chance of doing just that.
You may hear New Jersey has a bad reputation for being a particularly dangerous place to drive. Despite being a relatively small state, the cities of Paterson, Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City are frequently listed as having some of the highest car accident claims in the country. We can’t be sure of that, however, until we dive into the numbers. Learn about some of the more notable New Jersey car accident statistics, and discover how a New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help if you get caught up in one.
Number of Car Accidents
The last bit of hard data made available by the New Jersey Department of Transportation was for the year 2016. During that year, there were 273,473 car accidents across the entire state. Fortunately, only 62,690 of those accidents had any injuries. Keep in mind, however, that your person isn’t the only thing that can get damaged in an accident. 210,213 of those accidents resulted in property damage, mostly involving the cars themselves.
The vast majority of New Jersey car accidents are not fatal. Only 570 accidents resulted in a death in 2016, which is a surprisingly low number since some states with lower rates of car accidents have had more fatalities than that. This could be due to the prevalence of urban areas where vehicles are less likely to be traveling at dangerously high speeds. You should note that most fatal accidents that occur on highways and interstates are due to inattention and unsafe speeds.
Nature of Accidents
Not all accidents are created equal. Some are caused by reckless driving, while others are simple mistakes caused by negligence. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident in New Jersey, accounting for about 23.7% of all accidents. Meanwhile, 18% of car accidents happen when a car collides with another at an odd angle. The third most common type of accident at 16% are accidents involving parked vehicles.
Other accidents occur for a variety of different reasons. Among the most common are collisions with fixed objects, sideswipes, backing up into something or someone and left turn collisions. Head on collisions can be especially dangerous, but they only account for 3% of all accidents that occurred that year. Almost all of these accidents can happen in intersections, and over a third of all accidents occurred at an intersection, so make sure you’re careful in those areas.
Distracted and Impaired Driving
Distracted driving has been getting a lot of media attention lately. Since the rise of cell phones and other handheld electronic devices, new laws have been passed to govern whether or not people can drive while simultaneously operating these devices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies distracted driving into three categories consisting of visual, manual and cognitive impairment, and driving while operating a cell phone can violate all three.
Other things besides electronic devices can cause someone to be distracted when behind the wheel. Some people do truly outlandish things while driving, such as shaving or putting on makeup. There have even been cases in which someone was reading a book while driving. Even having a conversation with the person next to you can still count as a form of cognitive distraction.
In New Jersey, distracted driving has become a serious problem. Nearly 4,000 accidents were caused by cell phone use alone, not to mention all the other forms of distracted driving. Surprisingly enough, hands-free devices actually caused just over one hundred more accidents than hand-held phones. That just shows how much of a distraction having a simple conversation can be.
Impaired driving is also a big problem in New Jersey, despite the increased public awareness regarding the dangers of drunk driving. In 2016, there were 601 deaths associated with drunk driving accidents in New Jersey alone, with 37,461 deaths nationwide. The fatality rate for these kinds of accidents is simply far too high to ever risk it, for any reason. With the introduction of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, there’s no excuse to drive impaired.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
Knowing these car accident statistics can help you stay on the lookout for danger, but you’re still vulnerable to accidents. If you’re involved in one, you’ll need the help of an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to make sure you get the compensation you’re owed. That’s where Peter Davis Law is happy to help. We’re willing to fight insurance companies for you, so you can focus on recovery. Contact us today for your free consultation, and we’ll get started on your case right away.