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The latest fatal crash statistics from the State Police show 231 fatal crashes on the state’s roadways so far this year – an 11 percent jump from the 207 deadly crashes reported in mid-June 2015.  According to New Jersey Police, driver inattention is the number one cause of fatal collisions, surpassing both speeding and intoxication.

Captain Stephen Jones of the State Police is quoted as saying “People are driving along at highway speeds, but they’re not paying full attention to the roadway.  That small distraction sometimes unfortunately can demand a life in payment.”  And the numbers show drivers are not only gambling with their own lives.  About 43 percent of the victims so far this year were passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists.  According to the data, thirteen of this year’s victims were under the age of 17 and another 24 were at least 80 years old.

For the past five years, driver inattention has been the top cause of fatal crashes in New Jersey.  Driver inattention is anything that takes your attention off the road.  It can be any of the following:

  • Talking or texting on a cell phone
  • Eating while driving
  • Programming/looking at a GPS
  • Changing the radio station
  • Listening to music too loudly
  • Interacting with passengers in the vehicle

Driver inattention is a behavior dangerous to drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike.  Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can put you and others at risk.  That’s all the time it takes for something to change on the road.  Staying alert could mean the difference between life and death for New Jersey drivers.

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