The preliminary numbers are in and it appears that 2016 was a deadly year for many New Jersey drivers. The number of fatal accidents rose from the previous year, causing concern for many experts. NJ.com reports that 607 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. That is an increase of 8 percent over 2015. While 20 years ago, the number of deaths was more than 800, this rise is still worrisome considering that just three years ago, the number was down to 542.
If you live in Monmouth County, you reside in the county that tied for the second highest number of traffic deaths. Monmouth and Middlesex each had 49 fatalities, while Burlington County was number one with 50. In addition, the majority of the deaths were people between the ages of 18 and 80, meaning that the very young and the very old accounted for a very small percentage of those killed.
The statistics also show that you would be more likely to be killed in an accident if you are the driver of the vehicle. 333 of the 607 deaths were drivers, while only 89 people were passengers. Pedestrians and bicyclists account for the remaining numbers, coming in at 167 deaths and 18 deaths, respectively.
The reasons attributed to the rise in deaths may be not be surprising to you. Distracted driving continues to be a huge problem, as many people choose to use smartphones and undertake other activities that divert their attention from the road. Tired drivers are also thought to be a culprit, either from too many hours on the road or from medications taken before getting behind the wheel.