It's time to slow down, buckle up and drive sober, New Jersey.

According to, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has just reported that the amount of alcohol-related driving fatalities in New Jersey has increased by 27% since last year.

Last year, a total of 137 people died in alcohol-related accidents compared to 108 fatalities in 2015. And this is just alcohol-related crashes. Speed, vehicle safety, and distractions are also factors in traffic-related death tolls, nationally and in the Garden State. In 2016, 601 people died in car crashes in New Jersey, an increase of 7.1 percent from 561 deaths in 2015.

Nationally, traffic death rates are also on the rise. Here are just some of the national statistics from NHTSA:

  • 37,461 people in the died on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to 35,485 in 2015
  • Alcohol-related accidents increased by 1.7 percent, with 10,320 deaths in 2015 and 10,497 in 2016
  • Motorcycle deaths increased by 5.1 percent
  • Unbelted deaths increased by 4.6 percent
  • Speed-related deaths increased by 4 percent

Some of the statistics show record-breaking increases within the past couple decades.

So what's being done? The NHTSA states that they're continuing to work with law enforcement agencies, state and local partners, and members of the Road to Zero Coalition to address human choices as they relate to serious traffic accidents. They are also continuing to promote vehicle-safe technologies that can make driving safer to save lives.

And what can we do in New Jersey? We can start by making the decision NOT to pick up the keys after drinking. And as always, we also need to remember not to text and drive, drive at safe speeds, and to always always always wear your seat belt.

Let's get these numbers down, New Jersey.



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