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Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Are your kids making you a worse driver?

You may be a good driver generally, and you may even try to be especially cautious when your kids are in the car with you. However, many parents do not realize that, despite their intentions, they are worse drivers when they are transporting their children than when they are driving otherwise. 

Reducing accidents on slippery winter roads

Bad winter weather often coats New Jersey roads with ice and snow, and the slippery conditions contribute to many motor vehicle accidents. Drivers who follow the best practices for driving in the winter reduce their chances of getting into a wreck.

When wet, icy or snowy weather threatens an area, people should limit their driving whenever possible. The risk is not worth it to make nonessential trips on hazardous roads. For the times when people find themselves on slippery roads, they should reduce their speed because vehicles need more space to stop in those conditions. Braking should be done lightly and deliberately. Hitting the brakes hard to make a sudden stop could cause a vehicle to spin or slide.

AAA: end of DST linked with rise in drowsy driving

In AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 96% of respondents said they consider drowsy driving very or extremely dangerous, yet 27% admitted they had trouble keeping their eyes open while driving at least once in the past 30 days. Residents of New Jersey should know that drowsy driving, a form of negligence, is behind some 328,000 car crashes every year in the U.S. Of these, 109,000 end in injuries and 6,400 in death.

AAA has continually warned drivers about the danger of drowsiness, which can reduce alertness and slow one's reaction times, and the organization says that the end of daylight saving time will lead to even more drowsy drivers on the road. The reason is that despite the extra hour of sleep one gets, the change disrupts the body's internal clock. As the body readjusts, a person will naturally feel sleepy.

Fatalities caused by running red lights reach 10-year high

Twenty people were killed in New Jersey in 2017 by drivers who ran red lights, according to new statistics released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Nationwide, more than two people are killed each day by careless and reckless drivers who run stoplights.

The study says 939 people were killed across the country in 2017, the highest number in 10 years and a 28% increase since 2012. Due to those alarming numbers, AAA urges drivers to exercise more caution when approaching traffic lights, and for cyclists and pedestrians to stay alert.

New Jersey's car seat laws strive to save lives

The idea of losing a child is raw and unbearable. Across the nation, more and more grieving parents are sharing their stories about the catastrophic consequences of the improper use of child safety seats. Unbeknownst to many of these parents, while they thought they were safeguarding their children by using car safety seats, they were misusing them.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that car accidents are the number one cause of death for children in the U.S. and result in injury to over 120,000 children each year. Of those, 43% who die are unrestrained or improperly restrained. Proper use of car seats can decrease the risk of death by 70% for infants under one year and 54% in toddlers aged one to four.

Operation Safe Driver Week targeted speeding drivers

Over the summer, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance teamed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct its annual Operation Safe Driver Week. During the weeklong event, which took place from July 14-20, law enforcement officers from New Jersey and other states issued citations to both passenger and commercial drivers for a variety of traffic violations.

Speeding has been a contributing factor in over 25% of all fatal crashes in the U.S. since 2008, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute. To help reduce that trend, the CVSA chose to place special focus on speeding during this year's initiative. During the event, officers issued 17,556 citations for speeding or driving too fast for conditions, making it the most cited violation of 2019's initiative. Of those citations, 1,454 were issued to drivers of big rigs and other commercial vehicles.

Study finds teen drunk driving rampant in some states

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, some 2.5% of teens aged 12 to 17, 623,000 in all, suffer from an alcohol-related disorder. Teens who drink are not only breaking the law and damaging their health; they are also putting others at risk. The CDC has found that 5.5% of teens in New Jersey and the rest of the U.S. drive after drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is to blame for thousands of injuries and deaths.

A new study from CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com has broken down CDC data on high school students who drink and drive, determining which states are being hit the hardest by this trend. The study has a list of 15 states with the highest rates of teen drinking and driving, and Arkansas came in first. There, 10.7% of high school students reportedly drive after drinking. The rate of DUI-related fatalities is 4.8 per 100,000 people whereas the national average is 3.4.

Pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey

As more and more cities around the nation embark on efforts like Vision Zero which focus on eliminating pedestrian deaths, people in New Jersey may want to get a full understanding of how big of a risk they face when on foot. Anyone can find themselves in the position of being a pedestrian as even the simple act of walking from a parked car through a lot to get into a grocery store qualifies a person as a pedestrian.

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of New Jersey's vehicular fatalities in 2017 were pedestrians. A total of 624 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents statewide that year, 183 of whom were pedestrians. That year also saw the number of pedestrian deaths in New Jersey jump by 20 over the previous year. In fact, the 183 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 were the most recorded in the state in the five years spanning 2013 through 2017.

Ignition interlock devices may save lives

Drunk drivers take the lives of more than 10,800 people and injure approximately 290,000 people every year in the United States, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. While families are out navigating the New Jersey roadways, they are driving alongside thousands of drunk drivers who have three or more prior drunk driving convictions. So, what is being done to limit the number of drunk drivers that are able to climb behind the wheel and commit another offense? 

Ignition interlock devices deter convicted drunk drivers from engaging in this deadly practice. The device is installed directly into the vehicle’s ignition system. Before the car will start, the driver must blow a breath sample into a tube connected to the device. The BAC level must then measure below a certain level. If the BAC level is above that level, the car will not start and all information is recorded in the device. Periodically, the driver will be prompted to submit further breath samples in order to keep the car running. The devices require regular maintenance where information regarding startup attempts and BAC levels is transmitted to law enforcement officials.

The use of stimulants and truck crashes

From poor road conditions due to bad weather to driver fatigue, there are a lot of reasons why large truck wrecks continue to occur. With the massive size of these vehicles, these accidents are especially likely to result in the loss of life or serious injuries that derail someone's life. Unfortunately, some truck drivers use stimulants (both legal and illegal) in an attempt to stay alert while they are behind the wheel. This can be very dangerous, however. Not only does stimulant usage sometimes lead to intoxication, but it can also create a false sense of alertness even though a trucker is very fatigued.

In the trucking industry, drug and alcohol abuse is not uncommon. Some truck drivers develop an addiction to an intoxicating substance, which can result in frequent intoxication while they are behind the wheel. Strong stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine can dramatically affect a truck driver's ability to stay safe on the roadway, causing them to reach excessive speeds or ignore other vehicles around them. Moreover, truck drivers may also drive recklessly when they are coming down from such substances.

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