Heymann & Fletcher

New Jersey Turnpike celebrates fewer car accident deaths

The number of deaths attributed to fatal accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike has always plagued the state. So when there is a day of not hearing about a horrific and fatal car accident on that roadway, it is something to celebrate. For the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, last year was one of which to be proud.

According to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, 2013 ended in record-breaking fashion. The number of fatal traffic-related deaths was at its lowest total in over 62 years. The number of fatalities for 2013 was only nine for the entire year. While most New Jersey residents might say that nine is still too many, emergency response, medical, fire and police personnel might call that a miracle.

Considering the amount of miles traveled on the turnpike each day, .015 fatal accidents out of every 100 million vehicle miles is simply astonishing. Of all the highways in the United States, the Turnpike has become one of the nation's safest. The national highway fatality ratio is 1.10 for every 100 million vehicle miles. However, it has not always been that way. The Turnpike's worst year was back in 1973 when 79 people lost their lives due to fatal accidents.

Out of these nine tragic deaths, one victim was riding on a motorcycle and three victims were walking. Of the five remaining victims who died as a result of a car accident, only one of them was properly restrained at the time of the crash. New Jersey may be able to boast about the lowest death rate on the turnpike in its history, but that does not diminish the losses felt by the families of the nine people who died. If those deaths were due to the negligence of another party, the families may file wrongful death claims seeking restitution for the damages they sustained, such as pain and suffering and funeral and burial costs. A monetary award cannot make up for a family's loss, but it can give them some closure regarding it.

Source: nj.com, NJ Turnpike had fewest traffic deaths in its 62-year history in 2013, Mike Frassinelli, Jan. 31, 2014

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