based on the laws designed to promote highway safety. Only the District of Columbia ranked in front of New Jersey.
Motor vehicle crashes impose a significant financial burden on society. According to the NHTSA, the total economic cost of motor vehicle crashes in 2000 was more than $230 billion.
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety issued its eighth annual roadmap to state highway safety laws. The report ranks the states on fifteen criteria that promote highway safety:
Adult Occupant Protection
- Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law
- All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
Child Passenger Safety
- Booster Seat Law
- Graduated Driver Licensing
- Learner's Stage: Minimum Age 16 for Learner's Permit
- Learner's Stage: Six-Month Holding Period Provision
- Learner's Stage: 30-50 Hours of Supervised Driving Provision
- Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction Provision
- Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restriction Provision
- Age 18 for Unrestricted License
- Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)
- Child Endangerment
- Mandatory Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Testing for Killed and Surviving Drivers
- Open Container
- All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction
The Economic Costs for New Jersey
Even with having laws that promote highway safety in place, New Jersey still pays a high price for the freedom and flexibility the automobile carries.
In 2009, 593 people died in automobile crashes in New Jersey, at a cost of $9.34 billion. Put another way, it costs New Jersey $25,589,041 every day.
The more than 5 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes in 2009 cost our nation more than $230 billion in property and productivity losses, medical and emergency bills and other related costs. To put that in perspective, in 2005 dollars, the Apollo Space Program was estimated to have total cost of $170 billion.
This adds up to a "crash tax" of over $750 for every man, women and child in the United States, every year.
Even with the second best rating in the U.S., there is room for much improvement. With over eight million residents and surrounded by the large population centers in New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey's congested highways are still a dangerous place to drive.
If you have been in a motor vehicle crash in New Jersey, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney. Insurance laws are complex, and the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries can be confusing.
An attorney can review your situation and provide guidance and counsel should you need to bring a lawsuit.