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Fatal crashes in New Jersey cost the state $651 million each year


Most New Jersey residents know that motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for children, teenagers and young adults. Motor vehicle crashes are also among the top 10 causes of death for all other age groups.

According to data from 2005 used by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, which is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30,000 people lost their lives across the country in motor vehicle crashes that were largely preventable. This results not only in the untimely loss of human lives, but also in unnecessary medical and work-loss costs - $41 billion nationally. Each year, New Jersey's 8.6 million residents lose an estimated $642 million in productivity and income and $9 million in medical costs to treat automobile-related injuries.

The annual New Jersey data also suggests that the costs for deaths of motor vehicle occupants totals $190 million; for pedestrians, $125 million; for motorcyclists $62 million; and for bicyclists $16 million. The largest category, however, which was listed as "unspecified," makes up 40 percent of all fatalities and costs $259 million. How this category would break down on further data study is not known.

The same data suggests that the cost of deaths from car accidents by age group was highest for young adults at 43 percent with $283 million, followed by adults at 34 percent and $224 million, teenagers at 14 percent and $94 million and older adults and children at 4 percent each and $26 million and $25 million, respectively.

The death of a loved one because of someone else's negligence can be emotionally and financially distressing for a victim's family. Under New Jersey law, dependents can seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and related damages from the negligent party.

Source: CDC.gov, "Cost of deaths from motor vehicle crashes," Accessed on Jan. 21, 2015

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