One of the biggest bones of contention and discussions here in New Jersey revolves around the highways and byways of the Great Garden State.

In a new study conducted by Zinda Law Group with completed data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was revealed that New Jersey ranks 10th in the country for safest roads.

To determine the rankings, the experts calculated and ranked which states experience the least fatal motor vehicle crashes per 100k population. Because New Jersey is the most densely populated state with an estimated population of over 9 million residents and over 39,000 miles of public roadways here in New Jersey, that safety accomplishment is something to be proud of.

The sad news is that in 2021 there were 667 fatal car accidents resulting in 699 fatalities, which is an average of 7.5 fatalities per 100K people.


Rhode Island was ranked number one in the country with an average of 5.7 highway fatalities per 100k people and Mississippi ranked last in the country with an astounding 26.2 fatalities per 100k people.

What makes New Jersey highways so safe? When you factor in the condition of the roads — the Garden State Parkway, for example, for the most part, is a well-paved, well-lit highway that is maintained 12 months a year.

Universal Images Group via Getty
Universal Images Group via Getty

The New Jersey Turnpike is a little rougher and you may encounter some serious road wear on your trip. That’s not to say that there are road crews who are constantly repaving, widening and fixing the highways here in New Jersey.

I also think, and I am biased, that for the most part, New Jersey drivers are good drivers. There are those knuckleheads that weave in and out of traffic or are trying to write their autobiography on their phone while driving but most of the drivers know how to efficiently get from point A to point B.

When we break down the fatality statistics, we can’t lose the fact that these family and friends have experienced a terrible sudden loss. They are much more than just a statistic. Let’s all drive a little safer and not become a statistic.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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