As a general trend in urbanization continues, the rates in some categories of traffic fatalities have increased as well, which would be of interest to drivers in many New Jersey urban areas. Of some concern is the very slight decrease in traffic fatalities overall as well as the higher increase in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
Although the percentage of people becoming victims of personal injury due to traffic accidents has decreased significantly since the 1960s and after the use of seatbelts became mandatory, 2015 saw an increase in fatalities for the first time in decades. However, 2017 and 2018 brought about minor decreases of 2% and 1%, respectively. While this rate remains stabilized, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association does remain concerned with the risks to pedestrians and cyclists, which have increased, particularly in urban areas.
In fact, the NHTSA predicted a four percent increase in pedestrian fatalities and a 10% increase in deaths involving cyclists in 2018. A reason given for the increase is a greater number of people continue to move into urban areas. In 2017, 16% of all traffic-related deaths were pedestrian deaths, which was a significant increase from 12% in 2009. And while the number of traffic deaths overall has held steady, it has increased in urban areas. Additionally, while deaths inside vehicles dropped from 80% in 1996 to 67% in 2017, the remaining 33% of traffic-related deaths included those of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders.
Victims of personal injury due to traffic accidents might be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages. They might also seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who may be able to review their case and help them file a claim for damages.