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Category: Car Accidents

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Leading Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey

Just behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke, unintentional injury – which includes vehicle crashes – is a leading cause of death in New Jersey. While the number of vehicle accidents is down from decades ago, even one preventable death is one too many.

Here are some of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey and how you can stay safe on the road and help prevent more ccrashes.

The Stats

In 2016, there were a total of 256,482 vehicle accidents in New Jersey. That’s about 700 per day. Thankfully, that number has been decreasing.

Though the total number of accidents has been on a downward trend since 2001, a recent spike since 2012 has some analysts looking at cell phone use as a reason why drivers aren’t as alert as they were last decade.

vehicle crashes new jersey

Death and injury also fluctuate, but are primarily down (78,000 injuries and 670 deaths in 2001 compared to 59,000 and 570 in 2016).

vehicle accident deaths new jersey

car crash injuries new jersey

Causes

Distracted Driving

Cell phone use has continually been pointed at as a major reason for traffic accidents. With the introduction of the modern smartphone in 2007, a new era of easy and addicting mobile communication and entertainment has been a great leap in technology, but seemingly difficult to ignore while driving.

In 2004, New Jersey introduced a law that prohibits cell phone use while driving. This includes phone calls, texting, emailing, and the use of the internet and phone apps.

Though this law has likely kept cell phones out of the hands of some drivers, accidents from cell phone use have been increasing since police officers began accurately recording the use as a cause in 2006.

cell phone related crashes new jersey

Weather

A more typical cause of accidents in New Jersey is weather. Virtually any type of weather can cause difficulty while driving, including:

  • Rain
  • Snow and sleet
  • Ice-covered pavement
  • Dense fog
  • Bright sunshine

In addition to obstructing drivers, changes in weather can cause wildlife to behave irregularly. Deer, rodents, and birds may not see roads or oncoming traffic as well as in normal weather conditions.

Intoxication

Even 120 years after the first drunk driving arrest, driving while under the influence continues to be a problem. In New Jersey, having 0.08 percent of alcohol in your blood can land you a drunk driving charge.

In some cases, if you cannot safely be behind the wheel of a car, you can be charged even if your alcohol levels are below 0.08. Narcotics and hallucinogens are also included in intoxication charges.

The popularity of rideshare services has likely been a big attribution to the decrease in intoxicated drivers on the road. Companies like Uber and Lyft, who have been operating in New Jersey as early as 2013, offer taxi-like transportation from independent, authorized drivers.

The ease of their mobile apps and payments makes rideshare services an appealing alternative to drinking and driving.

Staying Safe on the Roads

Most drivers want to keep themselves, their passengers, and other drivers safe while on the road. Here are a few things you can do to be a safer driver:

  • Use Bluetooth, speakerphone, or a headset when using a cell phone
  • Avoid distractions like eating, grooming, reading, or adjusting music
  • Don’t drive in unfavorable weather if you can’t control your vehicle
  • Use your seatbelt
  • Don’t drink and drive

New Jersey Teen Killed in Dump Truck Collision

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Recently, a 17-year-old teenaged boy from New Jersey was killed when his SUV collided with a dump truck. He was traveling in New York on Route 93 but failed to yield to a Peterbilt dump trust going west on Route 284.

The young man wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. On impact with the dump truck, he was thrown from the Toyota SUV and pronounced dead at the accident scene. The driver of the dump truck was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

This tragic case prompts us to discuss several important legal points:

  • Always wear a seatbelt. According to NJ.com, New Jersey’s seat belt use is estimated at 93 percent. Failure to wear a seatbelt in New Jersey subjects you to a $46 fine.
  • If you’re a New Jersey driver but you’re injured in a vehicle accident when you’re in another state, the laws of that state prevail. For instance, if the dump truck driver had failed to yield right-of-way to the Toyota SUV and the driver was injured, he would be subject to the laws of New York and not the laws of New Jersey.
  • New York is considered a “no-fault” state for motor vehicle accidents. To sue or make a claim against the driver who’s at fault, at New York driver must reach the state’s “no-fault threshold.” Essentially, that threshold considers whether a serious injury occurred under the law.
  • The laws of New York consider serious injury categories. For instance, a fracture is considered a serious injury. A miscarriage that occurs after an accident is serious. Scarring that resulted from burns or injuries is serious.
  • The bottom line is that, in New York, the victim needs to have a “permanent partial disability” to show that a serious injury happened. At that point, he or she can pursue a legal claim for compensation for pain and suffering.

Regardless of who was at fault in the New York accident, the benefits are paid by the insurer of the vehicle the injured driver was operating. The insurer must pay for medical care, prescription medicines, lost income or wages, costs of housekeeping or transportation getting to and from doctors.

Many of us will travel to another state for vacation or to visit family members. If you’re injured by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to choose an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney. Contact Brad Spiller, Managing Partner of The Law Offices of Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP at 856-963-5000.

Camden County Collision Causes Fire And Serious Injury To Motorcyclist

A motorcyclist that was seriously injured in a collision with a pickup truck on the afternoon of May 25 in Gloucester Township has been hospitalized for his injuries from the accident.

The accident occurred on Berlin-Cross Keys Road in Camden County at 4:26 p.m. in the afternoon of that day. The collision between the two vehicles caused the motorcycle to catch on fire. After the accident, the burnt remains of the motorcycle were situated at the on the ramp of the Atlantic City Expressway, as well as leaving black marks on the road and debris strewn about the roadway.

While no information about what caused the accident was provided by police officials at the time of the crash, they did report that the motorcyclist suffered severe injuries to his leg, arm, and face as a result of the impact. The motorcyclist was transported to Cooper University Hospital for medical treatment. The driver of the pickup truck wasn’t injured in the accident.

Police investigated the incident and took measures to reconstruct the details of the crash. The Berlin-Cross Keys Road was closed for approximately one hour during the investigation. The road was closed between Sicklerville Road and Johnson Road as a result of the crash and reopened that evening. The exact cause of the accident is under investigation by the Gloucester Township Police Serious Crash Investigation Team.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident that was the fault of another driver, you need legal advice to determine your rights. Rely on the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at The Law Offices of Brenner, Brenner, & Spiller to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation to determine your legal rights for being hurt in a motorcycle accident because of another.

Drunk Driver Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

In a statement released by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, a man from Newton who struck a vehicle and killed its two occupants while under the influence of alcohol has been sentenced to five years in prison. The accident originally occurred in 2014 and was the subject of a lengthy case.

The driver, 29-year-old Andrew Frazell pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide. Because he was under the influence, Frazell mistakenly drove his Jeep Liberty into a wrong way exit along Garden State Parkway when he crashed into a Honda Accord, killing Hackensack and Sayreville residents Lucian Roberson and Deron McGuire, aged 36 and 42 respectively.

Frazell was found to have a .162 BAC, well above the legal limit of .08, and will serve at least 85% of his five year sentence before begin considered for parole.

Few things are more tragic than the loss of loved ones due to the irresponsibly of others. Drunk drivers have killed over 10,200 people in the last year alone according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These offenders leave behind broken families with a loss that can’t be replaced and strand them with insurmountable funeral debt to boot.

 

If you have lost a loved one as the result of another party’s negligence in a car accident, you need to discuss your legal options. The law offices Brenner, Brenner, and Spiller can help. You may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact our NJ wrongful death lawyers online or call 856-963-5000 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.

New Jersey car accident lawyer

Voorhees Law Enforcement Examines Police Pursuit Policy After Multi-Car Accident in Evesham, NJ

In the wake of a scary car accident on an Evesham Township highway, the Voorhees Police Department is examining its police pursuit policy.

According to law enforcement, James C. Fitzpatrick was responsible for the police chase. The pursuit reportedly began around noon on Route 73 North in Voorhees Township, NJ. (Although there is actually a dispute among local police departments about whether the police chase started in Evesham or Voorhees, it was close enough to the border separating the two townships that it may not matter.)

A Voorhees patrol cop reportedly spotted Fitzpatrick driving a vehicle with a broken tail light. The Voorhees police officer turned on his flashing lights and tried to pull over the car, but Fitzpatrick allegedly hit the gas pedal and sped up. Fitzpatrick then reportedly passed several other cars by driving on the shoulder of the highway.

Approximately one mile away from where the chase began, Fitzpatrick passed through the highway’s intersection with Evesham Road and collided with a Mazda CX9. The collision set off a chain reaction, with a total of seven cars crashing into each other. Two of those cars, including Fitzpatrick’s vehicle, were pushed over the median and subsequently rolled over. Additionally, the suspect’s car collided with a car while spinning on its roof and caught fire.

Immediately after the crash, the suspect got out of his car and allegedly tried to flee the scene on foot. Voorhees NJ cops quickly chased down Fitzpatrick and placed him under arrest.

At least 17 people sustained injuries as a result of the motor vehicle accident, with some of the injured motorists requiring medical treatment at a local hospital. Fortunately, none of the accident-related injuries were catastrophic and everyone involved in the car crash was okay.

Criminal Charges Against Beverly NJ Man Accused of Starting Police Chase

Fitzpatrick, a 46-year-old Beverly NJ resident, allegedly has a history of leading police on dangerous high-speed pursuits throughout Camden County, New Jersey. Moreover, Fitzpatrick’s license was reportedly suspended. Voorhees police learned about the earlier traffic incidents after arresting Fitzpatrick.

The suspect has been charged with numerous crimes, including 27 counts of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, 18 counts of driving while suspended, nine counts of resisting arrest by flight, nine counts of eluding law enforcement, nine counts of obstruction of justice, nine counts of providing false information to police, and at least one count of robbery.

After being arrested and processed, the suspect was remanded to the Camden County Jail in Camden, New Jersey. He was being held at the jail in lieu of a $178K bond.

Police Pursuits Can Cause Serious Auto Accidents

One of motorists who was involved in the Route 73 multi-car collision was a 37-year-old woman from Cherry Hill, NJ. She later described the multi-car pileup as something straight out of an action movie like The Fast and the Furious. Moreover, she did not realize that the police chase was happening until it was too late. The Cherry Hill resident spoke to the media and said that she saw “flashing lights coming in the distance in the opposite direction,” but she still could not avoid impact.

Police pursuits can pose major safety risks to motorists, especially on highways because vehicles are already traveling at extremely high speeds. As a result of these dangers, police departments in Camden County have policies about when patrol officers should call off their pursuits. For instance, the Voorhees Police Department policy stipulates that officers should pursue a suspect only when the suspect “poses an immediate threat to the safety of the public or other police officers.” The problem, of course, is that these kinds of police pursuits can endanger the public by increasing the likelihood of a serious accident.

 

If you were injured in a car accident in New Jersey, you should talk with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP can help you with your case. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.

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