New Jersey motorists should be aware that the increased use of mobile phones is a factor in the growing number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. This is after the number of deaths on the road had been dropping for decades. The number of traffic fatalities in the United States has spiked by 14.4 percent during the past two years. Over 100 people perished on average each day in 2016 in America either in or near a vehicle.
While there is no way to truly predict when or where an accident will occur, it is important to know that there are specific places and times of day that are more prone to traffic crashes. With this information in mind, there are some steps drivers can take to increase their chances of avoiding an accident.
Texting on a handheld device while behind the wheel is against the law in New Jersey, yet people still do it. Cell phone use while driving, particularly texting, has become common and pushed many states to pass laws against it. A survey by Progressive Insurance finds that most people believe texting while driving should be illegal, yet many still do it anyway.
New Jersey residents may be aware that several companies have vowed to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to the market within five years, but some experts believe that this timetable is highly optimistic. While self-driving cars promise to one day drastically reduce motor vehicle accident deaths and ease congestion, there are a number of financial, legal and psychological hurdles that must be cleared first.
Driverless cars are big news in New Jersey and across the United States. Some of the biggest companies in the country are investing in research and develop of autonomous cars and similar technologies. While tech companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Tesla and Uber are investing in research, some corporations are also spending billions to buy startups working on driverless vehicles.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem in New Jersey and results in many deaths and injuries every year. A technology company has developed a wearable device that the company claims can help drivers to stay awake when they are tired. The device reportedly can detect when a driver is starting to doze off and shock the driver to keep him or her awake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that drowsy driving causes thousands of fatal accidents each year around the U.S. The founder of Creative Mode began researching the dangers of drowsy driving after his friend fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree, breaking his collarbone.
When unemployment goes down, deaths in motor vehicle accidents go up. Number crunching at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that an improving economy leads to more discretionary driving, such as going to restaurants or taking vacations. This type of travel appears to expose people to more risks than day-to-day commuting because people tend to drive faster when the economy is better for some reason.
New Jersey requires children over the age of 8 to be properly restrained whether they ride in the front or back of passenger vehicles. A recent study published in the "Journal of Pediatrics" suggests that the lives of hundreds of children could be saved each year if all states had similar laws. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied fatal traffic accidents that occurred between 2010 and 2014, and they concluded that a 10 percent increase in seat belt use would save the lives of about 230 children under the age of 15 each year.
New Jersey millennials might be more dangerous on the road than drivers in other age groups, but people of all ages admit to sometimes running red lights or texting while driving among other dangerous behaviors. According to a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in the late summer of 2016, almost 90 percent of millennials said that in the previous month they had engaged in dangerous behavior while behind the wheel.
New Jersey residents may have used Snapchat filters or are aware of what they are. However, some believe that that the social media platform's speed filter may be encouraging reckless behavior behind the wheel. On Oct. 26, a video was posted in which a driver reached speeds of up to 115.6 miles per hour according to Snapchat. Nine minutes after the video was posted, the driver lost control of his car and collided with a minivan head-on.