With the winter months and more dangerous driving conditions on our roads, ice, black ice, snow, freezing rain, there are more chances for car accidents. As a lawyer who handles many car accident cases in New Jersey, I have noticed over the years that it seems that the winter months have more bad accidents on our roads, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, the Pulaski Skyway, Route 3, and the Garden State Parkway to name a few. I did some research today and checked with the United States Department of Transportation. Their website contained a detailed analysis of highway crash data over the last four decades. As a lawyer who handles these types of cases, including fatal car accidents, I found the results of the study very interesting.
Here is the link: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809855.pdf. It’s a 2005 study from DOT based on data from 1978 to 2002.
Some of the findings of the report are that the four deadliest days on our highways are July 3rd, July 4th, December 23rd and December 25th. Holiday shopping and alcohol consumption likely factor in to the two December dates. The July dates are attributable to both more motorists travelling more miles on our highways and accidents caused by drunk drivers. For pedestrians, the three most dangerous days with the most fatalities are July 4th, October 31st and January 1st. Halloween trick or treating children are especially at risk. Young children are especially vulnerable when hit by motor vehicles. I have previously blogged about that and the importance of keeping our kids safe in New Jersey by making sure to watch them closely on Halloween and make sure they have reflective clothing on while crossing streets to alert drivers of their presence. Also, in my estimation, alcohol related accidents and increased number of miles being driven by motorists account for the increased amount of pedestrian fatalities, too.
Its cliché, but we sometimes hear about “not being a holiday statistic” on the road, but the data shows the increased risks for pedestrians and drivers on our highways, so keep safe.
John Burke, Attorney, Jersey City, New Jersey