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Drunken Driving Fatalities In New Jersey On The Rise

Date: October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – According to the new federal statistics, deaths caused by drunken driving increased almost 27% in New Jersey in the previous year; this percentage is higher than all the other 3 states.

On Friday, the National Highway Transport Safety Administration reported that the number of individuals who lost their lives in 2015 due to driving under the influence of alcohol was 137 and the number of crashes that occurred was 108. The percentage of DUI accidents and deaths increased more in Alaska, Iowa and Vermont than any other place.

The number of people who lost their lives due to drunken driving nationally was 10,320 back in 2015, which increased to 10,497 in 2016 that shows a 1.7 percent increase. Statistics show that the rate of DUI deaths decreased 31 percent from 2014 to 2015. In 2016, the number of individuals who died was 601 and the rate was higher than in 2015.

A spokeswoman for AAA Northeast, Cathleen Lewis, said, “One, obviously we need to do more education. Two, people are taking that risk less seriously.”

Traffic has also increased on the roads. Motorists travelled 3.2 trillion miles in 2016 and it shows that the travelling miles increased year by year. This was the 3rd year in which the traffic deaths increased and from the year 1975 to the year 2014, highway fatalities in the state decreased 47 percent.

The New Jersey State Police released data which was tracked by the NHTSA at the start of 2017. The NHTSA reported a decline in the fatalities which occurred due to distracted driving, but the report was considered not authentic because they don’t include in-car systems that AAA said are as distracting as communicating on a mobile.

Executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, David Yang, says, “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel.”

In the previous year, more individuals walking on foot lost their lives on U.S. highways. The number of pedestrian who died in 2016 was 5,987 and the number is highest in any other year since 1990. More individuals are walking and riding bikes, most of them not paying attention on the road due to which they got involved in an accident and some lose their life. Lewis said, “You’re also seeing distracted walking and distracted biking. Just because you’re not in a vehicle doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the rules of the road. Motorists too need to be more aware of those bicyclists and pedestrians.”

It is said that if marijuana is made legal in the state, it will contribute to the increase in accident and deaths happening due to drugged driving. She added, “If people don’t take driving drunk seriously, what are they going to think when they take a substance that they think is safe. You shouldn’t drive while high and you shouldn’t drive while drunk.”

News Source: www.NJ.com

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About the Author

Attorney James A. Abate practices Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, Business Litigation, Real Estate & Personal injury cases in Union County, New Jersey.