3 Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Jersey—And Why Your Coverage Matters
- June 01, 2022
A car accident can happen to anyone at any time, and for a number of different reasons. But there are certain causes and conditions that make an accident much more likely to occur. Keep reading to learn what the 3 most common causes of car accidents are in New Jersey and find out why your own insurance coverage matters most when it comes to having your medical expenses paid in a no-fault state like ours.
Cause #1: Distracted Driving
By far, distracted driving is the top cause of accidents in New Jersey—and around the country. And, as you might have guessed, the number one distraction for drivers is cell phones. Using your cellphone in any way while driving (even taking a phone call in hands-free mode) takes your attention off the road and makes you less likely to react to changing circumstances around you. Other activities like texting, taking photos, using apps, or anything else that requires you to hold your phone will further reduce your reaction times and make you more likely to be in an accident.
Of course, cellphones aren’t the only distractions that can be in a car. Your passengers—especially children—can distract you from the road, as can things like putting on makeup or eating while driving. Distracted driving can cause accidents that range from fender benders to multi-car highway accidents. You, your passengers, and those on the road around you can be seriously injured as a result of distracted driving. Keep your focus on the road and both hands on the wheel at all times.
Cause #2: Speeding
Most of us have done it at some point, even if it’s “only a few” miles per hour over the posted speed limit, but speeding is another common cause of car accidents in New Jersey. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react to things like a car coming into your lane, debris on the road, or brake lights ahead of you. Speed limits are there for a reason; they help keep everyone on the road safe.
Additionally, a collision will be much more likely to result in serious physical injuries to you and the passengers in your car when driving over the speed limit. A car accident when you’re driving at 80 miles per hour will almost always result in more serious injuries than a collision at 60 miles per hour.
Cause #3: Inclement Weather
At this time of year, bad road conditions can be a major cause of car accidents. Snowy and icy roads can be extremely slick and can cause your car to lose traction without warning. Even in warmer weather, heavy rainstorms can cause slick roadways that lead to hydroplaning. Accidents caused by bad weather and poor road conditions are much less avoidable than the other causes of accidents we’ve listed, but they’re no less dangerous. If you must drive in inclement weather, slow down and drive carefully.
What Does No-Fault Mean?
New Jersey is a "no-fault state" when it comes to the payment of medical expenses following an accident. In other words, regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each party must look first to their own insurance policy for the payment of their medical expenses. While this may sound surprising and unfair, the purpose is to ensure injured accident victims will be able to receive immediate medical attention without waiting for a determination of who was at fault. This is another reason you must select an adequate amount of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits on your own policy and always select your auto insurance as primary for the payment of medical expenses. Never select your health insurance carrier as primary.
The best coverage for you and your family is affordable. It is recommended that you select $250K in PIP coverage. Learn more watching my video below.
Understanding Your Insurance Coverage
While New Jersey law requires all drivers to purchase car insurance, shockingly, they are not required to have "liability" coverage on their policy. Having no "liability" coverage on their insurance means they will not have any coverage to pay for the injuries or other damages they may cause you, leaving you to look at your own insurance policy for protection.
It’s important to understand your insurance and what it covers, so you can be properly protected. A serious injury can occur at any time. If your PIP coverage isn’t sufficient, you could find yourself facing huge medical bills. Additionally, if the negligent driver has no liability coverage, you are going to have to look to your own auto insurance for uninsured/underinsured coverage in order to receive any compensation.
At Antonucci Law, we consider it vital for all of our clients to understand their insurance and know how much coverage they need to protect themselves. If you have questions about pursuing an insurance claim or a personal injury case after you’ve been in a car accident, contact us today. We’ve been in your shoes, and we can help you navigate the process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.