Traffic accidents on our highways are among the leading causes of death and injury in our country. These types of accidents are even more common during and after severe weather events like this week’s snowfall in the Northeast.
CBS channel 3 in New York and the Associated Press are reporting on a bizarre freak accident that occurred Monday on the New Jersey Turnpike. This particular accident may have been avoidable, however and authorities are still investigating.
A seventy five year old man was seriously injured near Oldmans Township in New Jersey on Monday, when a fifty pound dumbbell crashed through the windshield of his car as he drove along the new Jersey Turnpike.
The accident happened at about 7:30 Monday morning as he and a female passenger were traveling in the southbound lane in Oldmans Township. When the dumbbell smashed through his windshield, the man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a wooded area next to the highway.
His female passenger was not injured in the accident, but he was evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital where his condition is not yet known.
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) January 9, 2017
New Jersey state highway patrol troopers are trying to determine where and how the fifty pound exercise device came from and wound up hitting the unidentified man’s car.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, In 2014 there were more than twenty nine thousand fatal highway accidents, with over thirty two thousand deaths.
In that year, which is the last that complete information is available for, Americans drove more than three billion miles in cars, with a per capita fatality rate of 10.25 deaths for every 100,000 people. According to the NHTSA, passenger cars, light trucks and SUV’s make up the vast majority, a little more than two thirds, of vehicles involved in fatal highway accidents, with large commercial trucks and motorcycles accounting for the final third.
When looking at the demographics of highway fatalities, you may be excused for believing that young people make up the largest segment of victims, but it is actually people between twenty five and forty four who make up the largest segments. Not surprisingly however, is the fact that men make up a significantly larger segment, more than double, of all fatalities than women.
The largest number of fatal traffic accidents on our nation’s highways are caused by driver error. With road conditions and vehicle malfunctions being far less frequent. In fact, of the more than two million accidents on our roads, fatal and otherwise, only ninety five thousand were caused by vehicle malfunctions and environmental conditions. Another forty seven thousand were attributed to unknown causes, making driver error the single most common “critical attribution” of accidents.
Overall however, the NHTSA reports that highway fatalities are trending down. Since 1994 the most deadly years was 2005, with over thirty nine thousand fatal crashes. Since then the numbers have been drooping steadily, and 2014 showed an almost twenty five percent drop from that 2005 high.
Statistically however, you are still significantly more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an automobile accident than by any other mode of transportation, an act of violence or terrorism, or most diseases.
How do you think that dumbbell wound up hitting the man’s car? Have you ever had a serious auto accident? Share your stories with us here.