Major holidays usually mean more New Jersey residents hitting the road. Unfortunately, these busy travel occasions often lead to an increase in fatal traffic accidents during times that should be celebrations. Of all the major holidays celebrated in the United States, Labor Day ranks as the fourth most deadly, according to USA Today. The only holidays ranking higher on the list are Thanksgiving, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
This year is shaping up to be perhaps the deadliest Labor Day weekend in the last seven years, for a number of reasons. For starters, overall, the number of people being killed in car accidents is on the rise, reports NBC News. 2015 and 2016 each saw a 9 percent increase in fatalities for the period of January through June.
One factor that may be largely contributing to this rise is the increased use of social media and smartphones while people are driving, especially among younger drivers who are already more inexperienced to begin with. In fact, 35 percent of teen drivers polled admitted that they would drive while using a social media app such as Instagram or Facebook. The number of deadly crashes may also be attributable to decreases in the price of gasoline and a strengthening economy, both of which tend to result in more people taking to the road.
While some are looking to self-driving cars as a solution to many of these problems, accidents involving autonomous technology have been reported. In addition, many people have security concerns about self-driving cars due to their vulnerability when it comes to being hacked.