From serious medical expenses and chronic injuries to disruptions to your ability to work and do the things you love, a car accident can truly change your life. In New Jersey, serious crashes are common. According to the most recent statistics from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, in 2018 there were over 278,000 crashes on New Jersey roadways, resulting in over 61,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths.
While New Jersey is known for serious crashes, some types of accidents are more common than others. By knowing what to look out for when you’re driving on New Jersey roadways, you may be able to prevent an accident. Below I’ll tell you about some of the most common causes of New Jersey accidents, how to avoid them, and when a Passaic County car accident lawyer can help.
#1: Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is by far the most common contributing factor to New Jersey car accidents. According to the most recent statistics, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office reports that between 2012 and 2016, distracted driving was a major contributing factor in almost 800,000 motor vehicle crashes statewide. That is a huge number! While it’s easy to think it’s safe to send a quick text or make a call during your evening commute, this is clearly not the case.
Another thing to think about is that our phones are not the only source of distraction while we’re driving. Being fatigued, changing the radio station, noisy passengers in the car, looking at scenery or accidents, or eating a quick bite can all result in distracted driving. The world is fast-paced and we’re often doing many things at once, but when you’re tempted to drive while distracted, consider whether or not it’s really worth it.
#2: Road Conditions
No matter where you drive in New Jersey, road conditions can be dangerous for a variety of reasons, which makes them the second most common cause of New Jersey car accidents. For example, if you’ve driven on a New Jersey interstate recently, you know they are almost always under construction. Unmonitored construction zones, potholes, and other forms of disrepair are common culprits when it comes to car accidents. On top of this, rain, snow, ice, or fog can severely diminish visibility.
You’ll of course notice some drivers speeding through construction zones or passing dangerously in bad weather, but the best way to avoid an accident is to be as cautious as possible, even when other drivers aren’t. Leave home early if there is inclement weather and don’t drive too fast. If that means traveling below the speed limit, this is perfectly acceptable and one of the best ways to stay safe.
#3: Mistakes at Intersections
According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, over 17,000 New Jersey car accidents in 2018 happened at intersections, causing nearly 5,000 injuries and nearly 60 fatalities. Rear-ends, sideswipes, improper left turns, and U-turns were among the top causes of these accidents. Other common causes are improperly observing traffic signals and failing to yield the right-of-way.
Whenever you are driving, be extra cautious when approaching an intersection. Always observe traffic signals and err on the side of caution rather than blowing through a red light.
#4 Drunk Driving
The New Jersey Office of Highway Traffic Safety reports that in 2018, 21 percent of motor vehicle-related deaths in New Jersey were caused by drunk driving. In addition, from 2013-2017, nearly 700 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol impairment and 37,000 crashes in the state were related to alcohol impairment.
This is a serious problem in New Jersey. The good news is that the New Jersey Office of Highway Traffic Safety has implemented the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program to curb drunk driving accidents. Still, drunk driving arrests rose in 2019, so there is still a lot we can do to reduce these accidents. Needless to say, never get behind the wheel if you have had anything to drink. While it’s easy to think you aren’t too drunk to drive after a drink or two, this is not always the case and could result in a serious accident.
Despite taking precautions, car accidents will unfortunately continue to be a frustrating and sometimes extremely difficult part of life. If you have been in a car accident due to another person’s negligence, working with a Passaic county car accident lawyer is in your best interest. At Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, we are known for fighting for victims’ rights, helping them receive fair compensation from insurance companies, and offering caring legal support during the extremely stressful period after an accident.
Consultations are always free. If you need help after a New Jersey car accident, get in touch with us at (973) 785-9522 or contact us using our form.