Car Crash Statistics – New Jersey
Motor Vehicle Accidents and Fatalities – New Jersey
New Jersey has already had 282 fatal crashes and 300 fatalities in 2017 so far. Compared to 2016, this is a decline of 1.0%. Of all car crash fatalities, 169 were driver deaths, and 46 were passenger deaths. The majority of drivers who died in 2017 were 50-64 years of age followed by drivers between 25-29 years, and then 65-79 years. Only one driver was under the age of 16. 12 driver fatalities were individuals over the age of 80. The highest number of accidents in 2017 and fatalities have been in the Ocean County followed by Essex.
There was a total of 571 fatal wrecks and 603 deaths in 2016. 2015 which saw 562 fatalities. This is also the highest rate of fatalities in the state since 2011 according to State Police statistics. The state saw a 20-year low in 2013, but this trend has not remained consistent.
Out of all the fatalities in 2016, 333 were behind the wheel, and 89 were passengers. Burlington County reported the highest number of fatalities than any other county with 50 deaths followed by Middlesex and Monmouth. Regarding road miles and miles traveled, Hudson County reported the most people killed per 100 miles of roadway. Cumberland County had the largest number of deaths per 1 million vehicle miles traveled daily. Warren County saw a 100% increase in the number of people killed from 2015 to 2016. Newark, the largest city in the state, had 28 traffic fatalities.
Reasons for Increased Accidents and Deaths
Primary reasons for increased crashes and deaths include poor seat belt usage, speeding, and distracted driving. Driver fatigue and drugged driving are also contributing factors. A spokesperson for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club highlights that driver distraction is the largest change in behavior over the last decade. State Police emphasizes the role distracted driving plays in accidents. More and more drivers are multitasking (using cell phones, eating, changing stations, putting on makeup, etc.). Aggressive driving and driving under the influence are other reasons.
An improving economy has also been highlighted as a factor for increased crashes since a better economy means more drivers, more exposure and a greater number of distracted people behind the wheel. Gas prices were also the lowest in 2016 resulting in an increase in motor vehicle volume. A total number of vehicle miles traveled increased by 1% in 2015 compared to 2014. The State Department of Transpiration reports that vehicles traveled approximately 207 million miles a day - a number that has been consistently increasing over the last few years.