As residents of New Jersey and other states relax in front of their televisions during the holiday season, their attention might be drawn to the issue of drunk driving. A sign of the season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has commenced its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. As part of the annual NHTSA safety program, a TV commercial designed to remind motorists about the risks and consequences of drunk driving is running nationwide.
Approximately 6 million motor vehicle accidents take place each year in New Jersey and around the country, and government data suggests that the vast majority of these crashes involve human error of one type or another. Even more alarming are the figures revealing that fatal accidents surged in the United States in 2015 and 2016 despite significant advances in automobile safety systems and improvements to the nation's roads.
New Jersey is among several states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, but some road safety advocates believe that laws like the one passed in the Garden State could lead to a sharp increase in impaired driving accidents. They point to crash data from Colorado, Oregon and Washington revealing that traffic collisions rose after marijuana was approved for recreational use, but experts say that the data is inconclusive and does not link the rise in accidents with increased consumption of the drug.
While many New Jersey residents may love to play "Pokémon Go," a new study shows that the popular smartphone-based game may have led to a surge in traffic injuries and deaths after its July 2016 launch. The study was conducted by researchers at Purdue University and released online in November.
With the end of daylight savings time come shorter days and more wildlife activity. As more drivers find themselves out between dusk and dawn, the period when wildlife is most active, they increase their risk of colliding with the animals. Autumn is an especially busy time for deer and bears. This is why experts recommend that drivers in and around New Jersey take several precautions to avoid such accidents. This advice is good year-round.
New Jersey drivers with collision avoidance systems in their vehicles may be less likely to have an accident than those who do not. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study using data from 2015 that looked at accidents involving blind spots and moving into other lanes. After examining 5,000 accidents, it found that those involving head-on crashes or sideswipes were lower by 11 percent for vehicles with the warning system. Furthermore, the same type of injury accidents were lower by 21 percent.
New Jersey residents may know that many experts believe that autonomous vehicle technology could one day considerably reduce the frequency of automobile accidents caused by human error. Tesla has included many of the latest autonomous safety systems on its luxury Model S sedan, and its CEO Elon Musk is on record as saying that his company's flagship model is the safest car ever built. However, the Model S has struggled to live up to Musk's comments in tests designed to determine how cars, SUVs and pickup trucks perform in real-world accident situations.
If a person is in a bus accident in New Jersey several different entities might be responsible. Since a bus is what is known as a "common carrier", it is held to a high standard of safety just like other common carriers such as planes, cabs and cruise ships. In general, a legal standard of "reasonableness" is applied when determining liability. This means that while a bus driver who is unsafe might be held responsible in case of an accident, if the bus is hit by a drunk driver, the bus driver is unlikely to be liable.
New Jersey truck drivers who get their commercial drivers licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020 will be required to abide by new training rules. The rule went into effect on June 5, and carriers and other stakeholders must also be in full compliance with it by February 2020. Drivers must take behind-the-wheel training to get their license, and trainers must be part of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration registry.
New Jersey residents who drive pickups, SUVs and minivans may be safer than motorists in some other types of vehicles, according to a new study. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that per million pickups registered, there were 26 driver fatalities. This was below the average of 30 driver fatalities per million registered vehicles and well below the figure for cars of 39 fatalities per million.