2016 is shaping up to be a deadly year for NJ drivers

The number of fatal accidents that have occurred so far in New Jersey this year has increased when compared to the number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents for the same period last year. According to the New Jersey State Police, there have been 244 fatalities as of June 15. That number represents 19 more deaths from the same time in 2014, or an 8.4 percent increase.

The overwhelming majority of the victims in these fatal crashes have been the driver of the vehicle. The age group with the most deaths was drivers who are between 50 and 64. People in that same age range also suffered the most deaths as pedestrians involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes.

The reason for the increase in fatal accidents is not exactly clear. As the economy has improved, more drivers may be traveling suggests Interestingly, it does appear that some New Jersey roads are particularly dangerous for drivers.

When it comes to state highways, Route 9 took the prize for the most fatal crashes. Also making the list were Route 35, Route 130 and Route 1. Not surprisingly, the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike were the overall deadliest highways in the state in 2014. This is most likely attributable to the sheer volume of traffic traveling on those roads and the high speeds at which many people drive. While local roads would likely benefit from design improvements to make them more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, distracted driving remains a major cause of many fatal motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey and throughout the country.

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