New Jersey drivers must be cautious, aware and predictable when they are on the road. This is also true for people who are pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. The dangers are lurking around every corner and safe practices can help avoid collisions with injuries and fatalities. Even for those who are attentive and careful, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Statistics can provide a window into current risks and help to maintain safety. The recent health crisis has reduced traffic across the nation, but New Jersey mirrors many states in that there has been a rise in fatal crashes despite fewer vehicles being on the road. Not only should drivers consider this, but they should understand why this is the case as it can be crucial to a successful legal filing for compensation.

Traffic deaths in New Jersey rose by 5% in 2020

Although there was a pandemic keeping a significant number of people off the road due to working from home, school closures, job loss and the decline in trips for leisure activities, there was a 5% rise in auto accident fatalities in the state. Experts believe that driver behavior was a common cause of this spike of 27 more deaths and 585 in total. There were 548 accidents in which at least one person died. This contrasts with 524 accidents and 558 deaths in 2019. Bicyclists were at major risk with their fatalities rising to 20 from 12 in 2019. Pedestrian deaths were stagnant, lowering by one.

Studies indicate that the reduction in traffic did not yield the safer roadways a first glance might imply it would. Drivers used the open roadways to speed and drive recklessly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed fatal accidents for the first six months of 2020. It said that even though there were fewer vehicles on the road, fatalities increased for every 100 million miles traveled. Risky driving practices is viewed as the cause, though the numbers are still being assessed. Essex County had 37 accidents in which 43 people lost their lives. This was second to Middlesex County where there were 61 accidents and 67 fatalities.

Legal assistance may be needed after auto accidents

Whether there are serious injuries or fatalities after an auto accident, it is important for those who have been affected to understand the steps necessary to recover compensation for all that was lost. That can include financial, professional, personal and emotional challenges. It may benefit a claim to determine the cause and an investigation can be critical. A firm with a history of helping accident victims in New Jersey should be contacted for guidance and advice on how to move forward.