New Jersey drivers might want to be more careful on the road since a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed fatalities climbing in 2015 compared to the previous year. The 7.2 percent increase was the largest since 1966, and although vehicle miles traveled also underwent a large increase, alarms have been sounded about the growing fatalities.
In 2015, 32,092 people died in motor vehicle accidents. This is still a significantly lower number compared to the 42,708 people who died on the road in 2005. However, rates had been steadily decreasing as the numbers of drunk drivers declined while seat belt usage was up. Safety technology, including electronic stability control and air bags, also contributed to the decrease.
An improved economy in 2015 meant fuel prices went down and job growth went up, and this led to the biggest single-year increase in vehicle miles traveled for almost 25 years. However, statistics demonstrate that there is still much that can be done to increase motor vehicle safety. Nearly half of the people killed in 2015 were not wearing seat belts, and in about 10 percent of fatalities, a distracted driver was involved. Speeding and drunk driving were also significant contributors.
Fatal car accidents often leave the surviving family members of a person who was killed in severe financial straits. In addition to the costs of a funeral, the contributions that the decedent made to family expenses must somehow be made up. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, one way to attempt to obtain compensation for these and other losses could be the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault motorist, and an attorney could assist in this regard.