Driving the New Jersey Turnpike Can Be Perilous
Traffic fatalities keep rising in New Jersey: In the first six months of 2016, motor deaths were 9 percent higher than they were during a comparable period of time in 2015. One of the Garden State’s most perilous highways is the New Jersey Turnpike. If you or a family member has been injured by a careless motorist while driving the New Jersey Turnpike, an experienced car accident lawyer may be able to assist you in attaining compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A Dangerous Highway
Homeland Security officials call the section of the New Jersey Turnpike between Elizabeth and Newark “the most dangerous two miles in America.” In part, this is due to the Turnpike’s vulnerability to terrorist attacks, but in part, it’s because of the exceptionally high volume of traffic on the Turnpike traveling at speeds of 65 miles per hour and over.
Causes of Accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike
Unlike the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority does not release aggregated accident statistics. However, Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, and Hudson counties, all of which abut the Turnpike, have the highest collision rates in the Garden State. From that fact, it can be deduced that driving the Turnpike can be perilous.
What Causes Accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike?
The leading causes of motor collisions on New Jersey highways are likely to be the factors behind accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike:
- Distracted driving: Between 2011 and 2015, the New Jersey Department of Transportation cited distracted driving as a major factor in more than 800,000 motor vehicle crashes. Distracted driving is an umbrella term for taking one’s attention off the road to use a cellphone, fiddle with the radio, or eat or drink while driving. Distracted driving also comes into play when people rubberneck or when they are too fatigued to drive safely.
- Bad weather: Bad weather creates bad road conditions. Tires lose traction on rain-swept or icy roads. It pays to keep extra room between your vehicle and the one in front of it when weather conditions impede your ability to drive. It’s important to slow down and use extra caution. Try to keep up to date with all recommended maintenance and upkeep on your vehicle so that when you have to stop in a hurry, your brakes are up to the job.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): In New Jersey, alcohol consumption was a factor in 118 fatal car crashes in 2015. While a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher provides grounds for a DUI citation in the Garden State, your reaction time may be affected even if your BAC does not meet the legal limit for a DUI charge. Research has confirmed that drivers whose BAC is 0.05 have a higher risk of being in an accident than drivers whose BAC is zero.
- Road rage: If you deliberately tailgate or you ignore signals from other drivers, you are acting in a manner consistent with road rage as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Aggressive drivers are more likely to make mistakes when they’re behind the steering wheel of a car. The NHTSA estimates that as many as 33 percent of all traffic accidents caused by driver error may contain an element of road rage.
- Speeding: Many motorists forget that the speed limit is an upper limit not a minimum limit. Speeding is a factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, speeding-related accidents imposed $52 billion worth of economic costs on the nation in 2015.
The accident lawyers at RAM Law are familiar with the types of accidents that take place on the New Jersey Turnpike whether they involve distracted driving, over-acceleration, drinking while intoxicated, or road rage. You can call (732) 247-3600 for our office in New Brunswick or (908) 448-2560 for our office in Somerville. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we may be able to assist you.