The New Jersey State Police keep running tallies of the crash statistics in the state. Fatal motor vehicle accident reports come from the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, and although they are provided as of the current date, they are preliminary numbers and subject to change as more data come in.
As of Dec. 28, 2017, there have been 596 deadly accidents in New Jersey this year, killing 629 people. Just over half of those who died – 346 people – were drivers, although not necessarily the drivers whose mistake caused the accident. Of these, 73 of the drivers who died were between 50 and 64 years old, 62 were in the 30-39 age group, and 51 were 40- to 49-year-old drivers.
Young drivers under 21 and those 80 and over made up just 13.5 percent of the total driver fatalities, even though these drivers generally have higher risk factors, such as delayed reactions due to inexperience and health issues. Eighty-three of the victims were passengers in the vehicles.
There were 16 people on bicycles who were killed, and 184 pedestrians. The 50-64 age group represented 32 percent of the pedestrian deaths in 2017 so far, making it the most at-risk age group in traffic crashes.
There are already 30 more deaths this year than last year, and 75 more than in 2015. However, New Year’s Eve has yet to be accounted for. This holiday is one of the most popular for parties where alcohol is served, making alcohol-related crash deaths more likely. In fact, according to Guardian Interlock, over 42 percent of the motor vehicle accidents that occur on the last day of the year involve an impaired driver.