Road safety is always a primary concern in New Jersey and across the United States. There are times, however, when circumstances make it a priority that needs to be addressed. Due to recent events changing the way people live their daily lives, fewer people were on the road. Despite that, those who did take to the road tended to behave more recklessly than they did before. Behaviors that added to the potential for auto collisions with injuries and death were distracted driving, speeding, drivers who were under the influence and overall recklessness. With society slowly getting back to normal in 2021, the statistics show that there was a rise in fatal auto accidents.
Statistics through September 2021 show more road fatalities than 2020
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its latest statistics for road fatalities in the U.S. in 2021. Currently, it only has the numbers through September. It found that 38 states – including New Jersey – had more road deaths than in 2020. For the Garden State, there was almost a 20% increase in fatalities with a total of 486 through September. In 2020 for that same time-frame, there were 416 fatalities. Overall, there were more than 31,700 road deaths nationwide. This was 12% higher than in 2020.
This spike is the worst since the U.S. Department of Transportation started keeping track in 1975. It is the highest number of deaths in 15 years. The federal government is trying to find solutions to the problem. The recently passed infrastructure bill has grants to enhance highway safety. Other ideas include reducing speed limits, giving bicyclists more room with bike lanes, adding crosswalks and improving lighting. Local law enforcement is encouraged to crack down on speeding and recklessness.
Thinking about the future is key after an auto accident
Even with the attention road safety is getting and the dedication that federal and state authorities are showing in trying to prevent auto accidents, they are still going to happen. People will be impacted in myriad ways with financial, personal and emotional obstacles that must be overcome. The way the crash happened can be essential in determining how to proceed. The entire case must be scrutinized to decide on a path forward. From the start those who were injured and loved ones left behind should have experienced advice tailored to their specific situation.