Though Superstorm Sandy is the focus of all New Jersey residents currently, dangers not related to catastrophic weather still abound in the Garden State. It can be difficult to focus on anything not related to Sandy at the moment, but other dangers still merit attention. For example, too many New Jersey residents are dying in serious auto accidents.
Teens are particularly vulnerable to devastating crashes. In fact, more American teens die annually as a result of auto accidents than as a result of any other cause. New Jersey’s Attorney General noted last month that, “It is important that we equip (teens) with the right knowledge and provide them with rules that will ensure they stay safe on the road. New Jersey has some of the most progressive and effective teen driver laws and educational programs in the country, but it is still vital that we take every opportunity to emphasize safe driving habits to our young drivers.”
In 2011, 18 teen drivers died on New Jersey roads. Even though this number represents a significant decline from the 41 teenagers who were killed in New Jersey ten years earlier in 2001, there is still much room for improvement. In order to end preventable teen car accident deaths, New Jersey legislators, regulators and safety advocates are renewing their commitment to reduce distracted driving behavior in New Jersey.
This effort is particularly relevant, given that at least 10 percent of teen driver fatalities nationwide can be attributed to distracted driving behavior. Although New Jersey already has strict distracted driving regulations, renewing enforcement and prevention focus will hopefully keep New Jersey teens as safe as possible behind the wheel.