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Some roads are more likely to be the site of an accident than others. A recent report created by the New Jersey Department of Transportation lists the rates of accidents on New Jersey highways per mile-marker, creating a rating of the number of accidents per miles traveled on that highway. At the top of the list is Route 156, a 1 ½ mile long stretch of road in Mercer County. In 2014, this stretch of road witnessed 14.09 crashes per million vehicle miles traveled. In contrast, the longer and busier Route 9 had a rate of 3.56 accidents per million miles traveled. Other highways with high accident rates are often short connector roads between larger highways, such as the mile-long Route 140 in Salem County, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike with Routes 40 and 130. Route 140 has an accident rate of 11.82 per million miles traveled. Other New Jersey highways with the highest accident rates include Route 124, Route 82, Route 7, Route 184, and Route 59. 

The report generated by the Department of Transportation breaks down the accident rates into sections of roadway, which allows the reader to see which onramps might be the site of the most crashes, or where a bend in the road leads to collisions. If a given section of highway is reliably the site of more accidents than other sections, that portion of highway may have been dangerously designed. When a public road poses a hazard to those forced to drive on it, there are circumstances where a governmental entity or official may be liable for injuries caused as a result of those hazards. Highway designers and planners can be sued for a driver's injuries when a highway is in a dangerous condition, and:

1) The harm that someone experienced was caused by something the planner did, and was the sort of harm a reasonable person would expect to result from that dangerous condition,

2) The planner's negligent or wrongful act (or failure to act) led to the dangerous condition (for example, the planner failed to create a plan that conformed to current safety standards), or the planning office was aware of the dangerous condition in time to change it; and

3) The responsible government office failed to remedy the dangerous condition, when a reasonable person would have seen that they should have acted.

Reports such as the one released by the Department of Transportation can serve as evidence that the highway planning office should've known the dangers of a given section of highway, as can other accident reports showing that a number of vehicles have been involved in similar crashes on the same stretch of road.

If you've been injured in a car accident in northern New Jersey, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morristown-based law firm Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your possible car crash lawsuit, at 973-292-0016.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
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