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The New Jersey State Police accumulates data each year related to fatal crashes on state roadways, providing a mid-year report with comparative analysis against the previous year. According to the most recent data provided by the New Jersey State Police, there have been 236 fatal crashes so far this year, which resulted in 247 fatalities.

This year's fatal crash rate demonstrates a notable increase when compared with the same time period in 2015. As of June 14th, when this year's fatal crash statistics were updated, there has been an 11% increase in fatal car crashes when compared with the 207 that occurred by mid-June of last year.

Among the victims who died as a result of fatal crashes this year, 141 were drivers, 35 were passengers, 4 were cyclists, and 67 were pedestrians. That equates to approximately 43% of those who died in fatal crashes who were not actually driving a car. The ages of the victims this year are highly variable, with 13 who were age 16 or under and 25 who were age 80 or older.

New Jersey State Police Captain Stephen Jones said that officials have yet to identify the reason(s) for this year's rise in fatal crashes; however, he did note that the phenomenon of distracted driving is a significant issue. Jones stated, "People are driving along at highway speeds, but they're not paying full attention to the roadway. That small distraction sometimes unfortunately can demand a life in payment."

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can manifest in a variety of activities and behaviors that pull the driver's focus from the primary task of driving. Ultimately, distracted driving prevents drivers from anticipating, observing, and responding to changes in road conditions or the behavior of other drivers in the most timely and effective manner. Some of the most common forms of distracted driving include:

  • Sending text messages
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Taking pictures with your phone
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Utilizing a GPS or navigation system
  • Reading maps or other materials
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Reaching for something inside the vehicle
  • Observing something outside of the vehicle (i.e. rubber-necking)

Although distracted driving is something that tempts us all from time to time, the results can be catastrophic, if not fatal for drivers and other innocent victims. If you have been injured or you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver or some other form of driver negligence, you may have grounds to pursue compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

To find the answers to your questions and an honest assessment of your case, contact the Law Offices of Smith & Doran in Morristown, New Jersey at 973-261-6254. One of our highly knowledgeable attorneys will be happy to provide you with a cost-free consultation.

To read more about this issue, access the following article: 242 people have already died on NJ roads so far in 2016

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