Auto accidents are a continuing problem in New Jersey causing serious injuries and fatalities. With research and analysis, road risks are made clearer not just to inform drivers what to look for, but for legislators and law enforcement to take steps to mitigate. Still, it takes time to implement and enforce safety measures. While the challenges are in place and car accidents happen, those impacted must remember the necessary steps to file a claim for compensation.
Crash and safety statistics spark call for action
The statistics for 2019 – the most recently compiled data – detail the accidents and their causes. In 2020, these have been exacerbated by the ongoing health crisis and drivers taking advantage of emptier roadways and less law enforcement by speeding, driving while distracted, driving under the influence and behaving in an overall reckless manner. Highway safety advocates are pushing the state to take more of an active role to enhance safety. There were more than 550 road fatalities in 2019. In the past decade, almost 5,800 people died in a crash. New Jersey’s numbers are better than those in other states. That does not eliminate the need for vigilance. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is encouraging changes in its 2021 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.
New Jersey is categorized as a “yellow” state meaning that there are areas for improvement. It is one of 29 states so classified. Twelve states are in the red and are considered in need of major safety upgrades. One recommendation is for the standardization of vehicle safety technologies like automatic braking and lane departure warning. New Jersey is advised to go further in restricting nighttime driving and greater supervision for new drivers. State law enforcement says that distracted driving was the most common cause in the 524 fatal collisions in 2019. It is still happening amid the pandemic and may have gotten worse. New laws are being proposed to expand how these violations are addressed.
After auto accidents, legal assistance could be crucial
Despite these recommendations, auto crashes are at the top of the list of causing unexpected injuries and death. With that comes medical problems, financial challenges and a dramatically changed life, possibly over the long-term. Those who have lost a loved one will need to consider how best to move forward in many ways. Insurers will likely try to settle a car accident case to avoid massive payouts, but their offer is often insufficient. For these issues, it is beneficial to have legal advice and guidance from the start. Consulting with a firm with experience in motor vehicle accidents can help.