Cars share New Jersey city streets and highways with trucks, trailers, semis and other commercial vehicles. And some of these vehicles carry flammable liquids, dangerous substances and other things that can make a car crash much more dangerous.
A bill passed by the NJ State Legislature was not signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. The bill would have required teen drivers to spend more practice time behind the wheel and required parents to take a graduated driver's license orientation course with their teenagers. The bill was a great step toward trying to slow down the rate of deaths and personal injury resulting to teens in NJ from unsafe driving.
Car companies are continuing to push technology that allows the actual vehicles to take on some of the driver's roles. Toyota, Lexus and Mercedes have done this with lane-keeping programs, and last month Ford became the most recent company to announce that it will also offer lane-keeping software in its 2013 Fusion and Explorer.
Fatalities from traffic accidents in New Jersey rose significantly in 2011, according to state police statistics. After a five-year decrease in fatalities, the number of motor vehicle accident deaths increased by 82 people last year to 638 total fatalities. That number includes motor vehicle drivers and passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Pedestrians are at a significant disadvantage in a collision with a car, because they do not have the benefit of a car body surrounding them. Another pedestrian was killed last week in a fatal accident on Route 130 -- which has now been named New Jersey's most dangerous road for pedestrians three years running.