A report issued last month by the State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit indicated a decline in fatal accidents in New Jersey this year. The decline is good news for New Jersey, whose numbers are in contrast to a recent nationwide rise in car accidents.
The study found that 426 people had died in New Jersey car accidents so far this year, as opposed to 448 fatalities for the same time period last year. The report accounts for all traffic deaths in New Jersey, and ultimately indicates a drop in fatalities by 4.9 percent from last year.
In total, there have been 406 New Jersey car accidents claiming 426 lives. Of the fatal accidents, 228 were drivers, 71 were passengers, 11 were bicyclists and 116 were pedestrians. Most pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas.
New Jersey roads claimed a total of 627 lives in 2011. While New Jersey accidents are on the decline this year, nationally, there was a 9 percent increase in fatal car accidents in the first half of 2012 when measured against the same period in 2011. The nationwide increase represents the largest number of fatal accidents during the first half of a given year since data first was collected in 1975. Experts speculate that the rise in fatal accidents is partly a result of more cars being on the road, now that the economy is recovering.
Legally speaking, drivers must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. A failure to use reasonable care is typically considered to be negligence. A negligent driver is one who is not driving as carefully as a reasonable person would. If another person is injured a result of negligence, a driver may be required to pay for damages and an injured person may be entitled to compensation.
While the recent New Jersey report represents positive news, accidents are still on the rise nationally and result in very serious consequences. Those injured in accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and should explore their options.
Source: NJ.com, "4.9 percent decline in fatal auto accidents in New Jersey, bucking national trend," Terry Wright