Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

Man standing next to a car while looking at a document

If you’ve been involved in an car accident, you know first-hand how heartbreaking the aftermath can be – especially if that car accident was the direct cause of a serious injury or tragic death. Although you may feel alone after experiencing a traumatizing vehicle collision, you are far from actually being alone. As these New Jersey car accident stats show, thousands of people are involved in serious crashes each year.

In fact, a Forbes article called New Jersey the home to the “second worst drivers” in the country based on an Allstate Insurance Company study that listed four New Jersey cities – Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth – among cities with the most car accident claims.

Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

In the recently recorded year, 276,861 total car crashes occurred on New Jersey municipal, county, state, interstate and toll roadways, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Out of those crashes, 59,850 caused injuries and 524 resulted in fatalities. Another 216,487 car accidents led to property damage only. According to NJDOT car accident statistics, 10 counties accounted for over 75 percent of the total car accidents in New Jersey.

These are the top 10 counties with the most car crashes in New Jersey:

County Crashes
Essex 30,287
Bergen 29,722
Middlesex 28,932
Union 21,171
Hudson 19,729
Passaic 17,921
Monmouth 17,507
Ocean 14,986
Camden 14,950
Morris 14,690

How Common Are Left-Turn Car Accidents in New Jersey?

Most car crashes in New Jersey occur on municipal or county roads, NJDOT records show. In fact, in a recent report, 170,899 car accidents occurred on those roads. Rear-end car accidents are the most prevalent type of accident on these roadways, comprising 39,348 of the total car accidents, or 23 percent.

The table below illustrates data for other types of car accidents, including left-turn car accident statistics.

Type of Accident Crashes % of Total
Angle 31,289 18
Parked vehicle 27,404 16
Fixed object 16,595 10
Sideswipe 21,019 12
Backing 9,387 5
Head-on 5,395 3
Left turn / U turn 4,631 3

How Common Are Speeding Accidents in NJ?

The New Jersey State Police reports that 51 fatal crashes occurred in the last reported year on the state’s interstate roadways such as I-95, I-80, New Jersey Turnpike, and Garden State Parkway. What were the leading causes of these car accidents? According to the New Jersey State Police reports, driver inattention and failure to yield right-of-away were the top causes.

Speeding is one of the most prevalent risk factors for severe collisions on New Jersey roadways. When coupled with different types of distractions, such as unsafe cell phone use, speeding is significantly more likely to result in a car accident. These car accidents frequently occur at New Jersey intersections, both signalized and unsignalized. The New Jersey State Police data indicates that 146 fatal crashes occurred at intersections.

Who Gets Into the Most Car Accidents?

  • Distracted DrivingDistracted driving is a serious problem on New Jersey roads, especially the use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones. In the last reported year, there were 1,391 crashes involving cell phone usage in the state, according to the NJDOT, including 479 that resulted in injuries to drivers or passengers and one fatality. Fewer car accidents involved hands-free cell phones (390) than hand-held devices (1,001). Bergen County had the most cell phone usage-related crashes with 153.
  • Drunk DriversDespite heightened public awareness campaigns, stronger laws and increased attention by law enforcement, alcohol-related crashes still remain a concern in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey State Police report, there was a total of 165 alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, more than 1 million drunk drivers are arrested each year in the United States.
  • Young DriversMotor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 in New Jersey and across the nation, according to the NJDOT.
  • Holiday Drivers – For a variety of reasons, holiday periods can be especially dangerous times for driving in New Jersey. Surprisingly, the New Year’s holiday has seen the least amount of fatal crashes in recent years, according to New Jersey State Police statistics. The most dangerous period for the last reported year was the Fourth of July. Other dangerous holiday periods include the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas.

New Jersey Fatal Car Accident Statistics

According to a recent report from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDoT), a total of 524 fatal crashes occurred statewide.

The data table below breaks down how many fatal crashes occurred within each NJ county:

County Crashes
Atlantic 30
Bergen 40
Burlington 29
Camden 45
Cape May 12
Cumberland 20
Essex 35
Gloucester 39
Hudson 19
Hunterdon 6
Mercer 21
Middlesex 42
Monmouth 33
Morris 25
Ocean 37
Passaic 27
Salem 8
Somerset 11
Sussex 13
Union 23
Warren 9

Cellphone-Related Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

There are many causes of car accidents in New Jersey, and cell phone use only adds to the problem. Because phones divert attention from the road, whether handheld or hands-free, using a cell phone in the car can become a fatal distraction. New Jersey saw a total of 1,391 car accidents due to cell phone use in a recent year, with 628 injuries and one fatality. 

New Jersey does not allow drivers to use cell phones to talk on the phone or text. Handheld phones may be used only for emergencies, and the driver must keep a hand on the wheel at all times. However, even hands-free use can cause cognitive distraction, so this is still discouraged. Driving distracted while using a cell phone comes with penalties, fines, and even suspension of a driver’s license. More importantly, it can lead to severe injuries and even traffic deaths.

Our Experienced New Jersey Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help You

When someone is harmed by a careless driver or loses a loved one in a car accident, they have the right and the expectation to be fairly compensated for their losses. However, New Jersey car accident laws can be complex, and it can be difficult to deal with insurance adjusters. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced and dedicated New Jersey car accident lawyer who can navigate your case through the legal process and its minefields.

Since 1981, the car accident lawyers and staff of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have devoted their legal careers to helping people throughout New Jersey and New York who were injured as a result of the carelessness of others. We are ready to help you, too.

Call us today or complete our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation right away. We can review your case by telephone, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or GoToMeeting. We also make house calls and hospital visits due to time being of the essence in establishing a claim. We do not charge attorney’s fees unless we are successful in your case.

This post was originally published on November 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on February 2022.