Distracted Driving Kills More People On N.J. Roads Than Anything Else

According to an analysis by the State Police, driver inattention and distracted driving is the biggest factor causing fatalities. The analysis done in 2014 showed that driver inattention causes more fatal collisions than speeding and drug or alcohol impairment.

A total of 523 fatal accidents took place in 2014, which resulted in the death of 556 people. 170 of these victims were pedestrians, whereas 11 were bicycle riders. In 2015, the number of people who died in crashes was two less than the total for 2014. However, a detailed analysis of the data for that year’s crashes is not yet available.

A total of 582 drivers were involved in fatal crashes, and distracted driving was a factor for 190 of them. The number reached a five-year high in 2014. The analysis revealed that 174 drivers were impaired whereas 70 drivers were driving at an unsafe speed.

This has been the fifth consecutive year where driver inattention has been the leading cause of fatal crashes in the Garden State.

Sgt. Jeff Flynn, a State Police spokesman stated, “Driver inattention and distracted driving are interchangeable. It’s a lot of different things, didn’t see the car in front of them stop or make the lane change, that would be attributed to driver inattention. We look at these numbers and look for ways to lower fatal crashes and educate the public.”

According to the report, driver inattention is also the highest factor in fatal accidents that involve tractor-trailers and motorcycles.

Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said that auto fatalities due to driver inattention are at an all-time high. ” Being distracted has almost become a way of life for us, but as these statistics show, inattentive driving can be fatal,” he said.

At the moment, use of cell phones is the only category of distraction counted on crash reports. Use of cell phones while driving caused 3,760 crashes in 2014, with most of the fatalities occurring in Monmouth County. The number of deaths were recorded at 47, followed by 45 deaths in Ocean, 41 deaths in Atlantic, and 40 fatalities in Essex.

Most of these fatal collisions occurred on state highways, and accounted for 36 percent of the crashes. 30 percent of the fatalities occurred on county roads, 16 percent on municipal roads, 9 percent on toll roads and 6 percent on interstate highways.

News Source: www.NJ.com