After decades of steadily declining traffic fatalities and accidents across the country, since 2016 America’s roads and highways are trending towards becoming more dangerous, with accidents on the rise. New Jersey is no exception to this trend. There were 529 fatal accidents in 2019, which is up from previous years by a few percentage points. What is more alarming is that overall fatalities in America due to car accidents have increased by 7.3% since 2013, according to a Reason Foundation report.
Even if a car accident doesn’t hurt anyone, it can still cost you a lot financially. That’s why if you sustain a personal injury or significant property damage as the result of a car crash, you should consult with a car accident attorney as soon as you can to ensure that your rights are upheld and you get the compensation you deserve. For representation from car accident lawyers with more than 50 years of experience working for clients and their personal injury claims, contact Fredson Statmore Bitterman LLC. Our mission is to help our clients recover the maximum compensation in their personal injury case. This includes current and future medical expenses, any lost income (if you were unable to work due to your injury), and compensation for any mental or physical pain and suffering you experienced due to your injury. We are willing to go the extra mile with our clients, and our track record speaks to that fact.
While no amount of money can undo the accident, working with top personal injury attorneys like those at Fredson Statmore Bitterman LLC, can at the very least help you and your family begin rebuilding your lives after an accident or injury. So if you’ve been in a recent car accident, call us today and schedule your free consultation.
3 Main Cause of Increased Traffic Accidents
Due to the high speeds, congested roads, and many difficult-to-navigate roadways, New Jersey is one of the most dangerous states for drivers in the country, Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and overworked truck drivers contribute to this dangerous mix and increase the risk of accidents for everyone on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the main reason for the increase in traffic accidents and fatalities is due to job growth and low fuel prices contributing to more people on the roads. However, the increase in drivers on the road is less than 5% over the last few years, whereas the total number of car accidents is increased by more than double that.Therefore, the increase in people on the road does not fully explain what is happening on our roads to make them more dangerous. Here are some of the other most important contributing factors to the increase in car accidents over recent years:
#1: Distracted Driving
In the United States of America there are over 3,000 deaths due to distracted driving each year, while personal injuries due to distracted driving are around 400,000 per year. The NHTSA reports that the human factor contributes significantly to the cause of motor vehicle accidents.
The most common causes of distracted driving are:
- Cell phone use (talking on the phone or texting)
- Adjusting music or other controls
- Not watching the road
- Applying makeup
- Other occupants, like pets and children
- Zoning out
- Getting lost in your thoughts
- Moving obstacles like tumbleweeds, animals, and pedestrians
- Eating or drinking
To reduce your chances of getting in a car accident, avoid doing these things as much as possible while on the road.
Of these causes of distracted driving, new technology like telecommunication and more in-dash electronic devices are some of the most likely culprits of distraction.
#2: Dangerous Driving
Beyond simply being distracted, a large percentage of fatal car accidents involve people not just driving distractedly, but driving dangerously. Nearly half of people killed in a car crash were not wearing a seatbelt. One in three fatal crashes involve drunk driving. Three in ten fatal crashes involve speeding. Compare this to the one in ten caused by distracted driving, and you will understand just how much greater risk you are putting yourself and other people on the road when driving dangerously.
#3: Worse Traffic
Dangerous driving isn’t always avoidable, unfortunately. One of the most dangerous driving conditions in New Jersey is congested traffic. In such situations, people are prone to make dangerous decisions and be more aggressive on the road. As the amount of time people spend on the roads increases due to congestion, mental fatigue and distractions also set in, creating a chain reaction that increases drivers’ risk.
One of the reasons for worse traffic is that America’s roads are on average declining in quality, with many requiring repairs and renovation. Our urban highways in New Jersey are in particularly poor condition, even despite the state spending $511,266 per lane-mile on our highways — the highest disbursement rate in the country.
How to Prevent Traffic Deaths
Though there is no easy fix for congested traffic and distracted or dangerous driving, there are some common-sense practices you can implement to reduce your chances of getting in a traffic accident. According to the NHTSA administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind, 94% of crashes are caused by people making bad decisions or errors. So focusing on not making the most common errors and bad decisions is going to be one of the most effective ways of reducing the number of car accidents and fatalities. Focus on these preventative measures:
- Eliminate distractions — Put away your phone, turn down or off the radio, and politely tell any overly chatty passengers to talk less so you can focus better on the road.
- Wear your seatbelt — Buckling up can significantly reduce instances of serious injuries and fatalities. The majority (i.e., over 50%) of people who die in a car accident do so because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
- Follow the speed limit — We’ve all got places to go, but that doesn’t mean to interpret the speed limit as more of a suggestion than a rule. Roughly 30% of accidents in the US are contributed to by someone either speeding or driving too slow. Follow the speed limit as posted, and drive less than that if there is inclement weather or other hazards.
- Don’t drink and drive — It’s an obvious one, but if you drink and drive, your chances of getting in a car accident skyrocket. More than 65% of single-car crashes are the result of drunk driving. Drunk driving also is responsible for about 36% of all pedestrian-related
What to Do If You Get in a Car Accident
Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. However, it is important that you stay calm and take all the measures you need to to protect the health and safety of everyone involved. If you or someone has been injured in a car accident, call 911 ASAP.
After a car accident, be sure to exchange insurance information with the other. Collect their license plate number, insurance policy number, driver’s license number, and all other relevant information. Don’t sign any documents given to you by your or the other person’s insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. Some insurance companies may try and get you to agree to waive your rights by offering injury compensation less than you actually deserve. Before you sign any documents, contact our New Jersey car accident injury attorneys to make sure that what you are agreeing to is financially adequate.
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, we have more than 50 years of experience helping clients across the state of New Jersey recover full and fair compensation for a wide variety of auto accident injury claims.
Led by a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney, our personal injury team has already recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we are ready to put our years of education and experience to work for you.
For a free confidential consultation regarding your auto accident injury case, please contact us online or through our office today.