The Department of Transportation (DOT) has released statistics for highways in New Jersey with the highest crash rate for 2014, with Route 156 in Mercer County topping the list.
As Route 156 is by no means the busiest or largest highway in the state, the number one ranking may seem surprising at first. Route 156 has a crash rate of 14.09 accidents per million vehicle miles compared to Route 1, which has 3.79 crashes per million vehicle miles and Route 9 at 3.56 crashes. Both Route 1 and Route 9 are longer and busier but not, apparently, more dangerous.
However, Steve Carrellas, an engineer associated with the National Motorist’s Association, notes that the crash rate is more than just the number of crashes that take place on a given thoroughfare. Such considerations as the volume of traffic on a given roadway are also factored in. As Carrellas explains, “A big number of crashes, divided by a big number of miles traveled (on a longer road) ends up being less.”
Also taken into account are such features as the number of lanes in a road. In addition, some of the smaller roads that made the top of the list were also linked to larger roads with heavier traffic. For instance, Route 140 connects the New Jersey Turnpike and Routes 130 and 40, whereas Route 67 also links Route 9W with the George Washington Bridge.
The most dangerous roads in New Jersey, ranked
The full list of roads with the highest crash rates for New Jersey in 2014 is as follows:
- Route 156, 14.09 (crash rate)
- Route 140, 11.82
- Route 67, 10.31
- Route 82, 10.29
- Route 124, 10.22
- Route 63, 9.58
- Route 139U, 8.88
- Route 7, 8.46
- Route 184, 8.38
- Route 59, 7.97
While the relatively small Route 156 topped the list, large highways such as Route 1 and Route 9 didn’t even make the list. These highways have a high number of crashes that take place, but relative to the large volume of traffic that they support, these numbers are actually small. Considered in these terms, some of the smaller roadways in New Jersey are actually among the more dangerous.
What makes a highway unsafe?
Carrellas notes that it is often the way that a roadway is designed that determines how dangerous it ends up being. For instance, “A divided highway with signalized intersections is still safer than an undivided highway or road.” A well-designed roadway that carries a high volume of vehicles is generally safer even if the absolute number of crashes is higher than one finds on smaller roads. While accidents on major highways may make the news, such highways are often still safer when considered in these terms.
At the law firm of Eisbrouch Marsh, we understand the lasting ramifications of traffic accidents. If you have been injured and would like to have a better understanding of your legal rights, please contact us at 201-342-5545 to set up a free consultation with veteran New Jersey car accident lawyers .