New Jersey officials report a significant decrease in fatal crashes in 2023

Two-thirds of the state saw a decline in traffic fatalities. Middlesex County had the highest margin.

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Preliminary data released by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety show fewer people died in fatal crashes in the Garden State in 2023. Those decreases extended across drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

According to data released on Monday, there were 585 fatal crashes last year, compared to 646 in 2022, a 9.4% decrease.

Officials say the decrease in motor vehicle passenger fatalities is “significant.” That number went from 103 in 2022 to 585 in 2023, a 16.5% improvement. Driver fatalities fell from 379 in 2022 to 322 last year. Pedestrian fatalities fell from 191 in 2022 to 175 in 2023.

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Fourteen of the Garden State’s counties saw a decline in fatalities. Burlington, Cape May, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Salem and Sussex counties experienced a drop of 30% or greater. In Burlington County, fatal crashes went from 60 in 2022 to 36 in 2023.

The exceptions are Hudson County, which saw fatalities increase from 17 in 2022 to 26 in 2023 and Middlesex County, which had the highest number of fatalities at 64.

While overall fatal pedestrian crashes continued to fall over the last couple of years, fatal crashes involving cyclists rose from 16 in 2022 to 24 in 2023. Last year’s number came close to 2021’s tally, where fatal cyclist crashes reached its highest number since 1989.

The highway safety division said they will continue focusing on reducing the hazards contributing to fatal crashes, such as distracted or impaired driving, speeding and failure to wear seatbelts.

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