Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in New Jersey, as anywhere else, and can lead to fatal car accidents. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it appears that DUI-related fatality rates are their highest on the Fourth of July than during any other major U.S. holiday. From 2010 to 2017, a total of 1,192 people died in DUI crashes on the Fourth of July.
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.
Much has been made of promoting highway safety throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country. The recent focus of public awareness campaigns have been on issues such as drunk and distracted driving. 'Don't drink and drive" and 'don't text while driving" are the clear and simple messages for these widely known problems. However, these campaigns have done little to address another major threat to the roads -- drowsy driving.
New Jersey motorists who drive too fast should beware. From July 14 to 20, law enforcement officers throughout North America will be targeting speeding drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, an annual event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
Roughly 214 million opioid prescriptions are supplied throughout the U.S. every year. This high rate of use could be making New Jersey roads more dangerous. A new study published in JAMA Network Open has discovered that the risk for a fatal two-vehicle crash doubles when drivers use these medications. Most opioid medications say on their labels that users should not drive or operate heavy machinery when taking them. However, many drivers disregard such warnings.
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving crashes kill 9 people and injure 100 every day in the U.S. These crashes usually involve the use of phones and dangerous in-vehicle technology like dashboard touchscreens and voice command features. New Jersey residents probably know what an epidemic distracted driving has turned into.
Experts say that New Jersey residents should sleep at least seven hours every night. Many do not achieve this, and the matter becomes worse with daylight saving time. That's why the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is recommending that everyone adjust their sleep schedules for the time change. Among other things, this will reduce the risk of car accidents.
It is not uncommon for New Jersey residents to see automobile accidents while driving down the freeway or through city streets. There are a number of reasons why car accidents happen; many factors come into play that law enforcement, insurance agents and other entities involved in investigating accidents need to balance when determining why an accident took place and who is responsible for it.
Speeding continues to be a widespread issue in New Jersey and across America. What's even worse is that it's considered culturally acceptable among many drivers. The reality, however, is that speeding is involved in nearly a third of all auto-related deaths in the country. This is according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association entitled, "Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge."
Newer vehicles in New Jersey often contain infotainment systems that enable telephone calls, text messages, navigation and media consumption. These systems also tie into people's smartphones when they want to manage their media through their mobile devices. According to researchers, all of this technology adds up to substantial distractions for drivers. The results of one small research study indicate that the poorly designed systems built into vehicles might be more distracting than smartphones.