The driver-assist technology in some new vehicles depends on radar, cameras and software to interpret the data. Although driver-assist features, like automatic emergency braking, have the potential to reduce traffic accidents in New Jersey, drivers cannot rely on them entirely. The chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety called the software a work in progress.
Alcohol impairs the central nervous system and can cause everything from impaired muscle coordination to memory lapses. Even a small lapse in judgment can prevent one from doing two things at once or tracking a moving object. When alcohol consumption mixes with driving, the results can be fatal. Every year in New Jersey and across the U.S., around 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes.
Nearly one in five drivers throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country are older than 65. That figure has risen by almost a third in just the last decade, and it is expected to climb even further in the years ahead as the baby boom generation enters its golden years. Accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that fatal crashes involve an older driver about 14% of the time. The rise in the number of seniors killed on the nation's roads each year is outpacing other demographic groups.
The Fourth of July means holiday celebrations in New Jersey and all over the country. It also indicates traffic accidents, drunk drivers and fatalities on the road. Between the years 2010 and 2017, there were 1,192 traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers nationwide. On average, there were 42.4 DUI fatalities on the Fourth of July each year during the period studied. Memorial Day and Labor Day were the second- and third-deadliest DUI holidays with 39.5 and 38.1 DUI fatalities respectively on average.
Ford Motor Company states that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is an especially dangerous time for teen drivers, who are inexperienced to begin with. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, calling this period the "100 deadliest days for teen drivers," found that the fatal car crash risk for teens increases 15% during summer. Parents in New Jersey are thus advised to teach their teens about safe driving, over and over again if necessary.
Driving while drowsy on New Jersey roads can put people in danger. Individuals should not drive after taking prescription sleep aids as it could increase their risk of being too groggy to do so safely. It is also important to point out that driving after being awake for 24 straight hours is like driving with a blood alcohol level of .10%. That is higher than the legal limit of .08% in most states.
A study, the results of which have been published in JAMA Network Open, has found that opioid use raises the risk for fatal motor vehicle crashes. New Jersey residents should know that prior to the opioid epidemic that began in the 1990s, opioids were responsible for about 1% of driver deaths in the US whereas recent years have seen the statistic rise to 7%.
Smartphones and other mobile devices are a major source of distraction for drivers in New Jersey as elsewhere in the U.S. Root Insurance, an insurer that provides incentives to drivers who avoid phone use, has recently made known the results of its second annual distracted driving study, and they show that distractions are becoming a nationwide road safety issue.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic, according to the Ohio State University Risk Institute. In order to reduce distracted driving and create a safer driving environment, the Institute has begun an initiative designed to coordinate the efforts of dozens of companies, governmental bodies and Institute researchers. The purpose of the newly launched initiative is to create actionable change that will reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving.
Thousands of people in New Jersey and across the country are injured or even killed each year in crashes linked to distracted driving. While most states have outlawed texting or surfing the internet while driving, distraction continues to pose a major threat to roadway safety. As a result, legislators in one state are considering adopting a still-untested technology that could allow police to determine whether a driver was using a mobile phone during or immediately prior to a crash.