The number of fatal car wrecks taking place in New Jersey is on the rise, and safety advocates are now calling on state officials to take a closer look at the problem and figure out how to reduce the number of people dying in crashes on state roadways. Traffic deaths have risen in multiple categories in recent years, with some calling for New Jersey to adopt a Vision Zero plan, which seeks to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030.
Per NJ 101.5, between 2020 and 2021, the number of fatal wrecks on New Jersey’s roadways rose from 550 to 651. Also, in 2021, New Jersey saw its highest number of road deaths of any year since 2007.
Fatal crash statistics
In 2020, those 550 fatal car wrecks claimed the lives of 587 people in New Jersey. In 2021, those 651 fatal car crashes resulted in 691 road deaths. These deaths included drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. While road deaths are increasing across the state, they are also rising at the national level. During the first 10 months of 2021, New Jersey saw 18.4% more traffic fatalities than it did during the same span the year before.
Fatal crash contributors
Many fatal car wrecks in New Jersey share similar factors in common. Distracted driving is a common contributing factor, with distracted driving encompassing in-vehicle cellphone and navigation system use as well as other forms of distraction. Impaired driving, including motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is also a frequent factor in fatal crashes.
There is only so much law-abiding motorists might do to protect themselves when sharing the road with negligent drivers. Wearing a seat belt is always an important part of staying safe on New Jersey’s roadways.