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Fatal car accidents in Burlington County spiked in 2011

State police and highway traffic officials are trying to figure out why the number of fatal car accidents increased in New Jersey in 2011. Statewide, 82 more people were killed in traffic accidents than in 2010, and a staggering 52 of those fatalities were reported in Burlington County, up from 34 in the previous year. Across the state, 146 pedestrians were killed, reflecting an increase of five. In all of New Jersey, there were 638 people killed in 596 accidents. Why?

According to the director of the state Division of Highway Safety, an increase in alcohol-related crashes seems to be linked to the increase in fatal crashes.

In the tri-county area, the number of fatal accidents increased in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

Five of the eight fatal accidents in Mount Laurel in 2011 happened either on the New Jersey Turnpike or Interstate 295. A Mount Laurel police lieutenant said it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why a spike in fatal accidents occurs in one year and not another.

However, another officer said that over half of the crashes in 2011 occurred as a result of reckless or inattentive driving.

In response to the spike in fatal crashes, Mount Laurel police have tried a new approach to confronting both crime and car accidents, using statistical analysis to focus on areas where crime and accidents overlap.

In addition, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducts analyses of fatal car accident statistics. The campaign said that improved road design for both drivers and pedestrians -- a plan called "complete streets" -- should make the roadways safer in 2012.

When car accidents occur in Mount Laurel or anywhere else in New Jersey, injured victims too often pay the ultimate price because of another person's reckless or negligent behavior. The families of victims of a fatal crash deserve at least some measure of solace after losing a loved one, as well as having a complete picture of the exact causes of their loss. Seeking the advice and help of a legal professional who focuses on personal injury law can help individuals form that picture in what is surely a time of great difficulty and grief.

Source: courierpostonline.com, "High-risk behavior cited in fatal crash increase," Larry Higgs, Jan. 14, 2012

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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