As the most densely populated state, New Jersey has some very crowded roadways, particularly during rush hour. Yet the state ranked fourth-lowest of all states for the number of fatalities per 100,000 residents — 6.32 in 2010.
The number of fatal accidents has been declining — dropping to 508 collisions with 542 deaths in 2013, according to a recent report by the New Jersey State Police. Still, that means nearly 1.5 die on the state’s roads each day.
Some roads, due to congestion or design, seem to be more dangerous than others. These were the deadliest stretches of roads in the state in 2013:
1. Route 1 in Middlesex County: 7 dead in 7 accidents
Commuters along this major highway would likely not be surprised that this section experienced the most deadly crashes, given the traffic volumes, large numbers of cars pulling on and off to visit businesses, and traffic lights along this busy north-south route. The accidents, which killed six drivers and a passenger, took place along a 20-mile stretch, with two each in South Brunswick and North Brunswick, and one apiece in New Brunswick, Edison and Woodbridge. There were a total of 16 killed in 14 accidents all along Route 1, and another stretch appears further down on this list.
2. Route 78 in Hunterdon County: 7 dead in 5 accidents
These mishaps occurred along 11 miles of a highway with rush-hour bottlenecks eastbound in the morning and westbound at night, though none occurred during the typical commuting times. In a Bethlehem crash, a driver and passenger died. Two drivers and a passenger were killed in two Union Township accidents. And drivers perished in accidents in Clinton Township just four miles and one day apart in July.
3. Route 70 in Ocean County, 6 dead in 6 accidents
All those killed along this two-lane road stretching from Cherry Hill to the Jersey Shore were drivers. Five of the crashes occurred along a 10-mile stretch in Manchester, three of them within the span of a month between April 18 and May 16, while the sixth was in Lakewood.
4. Interstate 195 in Ocean County: 6 dead in 5 accidents
All six crashes along this interstate that cuts across the center of New Jersey and is the main roadway to the Great Adventure theme park occurred within seven miles of roadway in Jackson, and all took place on a weekend: two in January, two in October, and one in July. Drivers were killed in all five accidents and a passenger was also killed in one.
5. Route 539 in Ocean County: 6 dead in 5 accidents
This two-lane road through the Pine Barrens saw three drivers and three passengers killed. One accident was near its southern terminus in Little Egg Harbor, with two each in Manchester and Plumsted.
6. Route 37 in Ocean County: 6 dead in 5 accidents
All happened along an eight-mile stretch in Toms River, which has the dubious distinction of having the most pedestrian fatalities — three. Four of the crashes occurred in six weeks, between March 14 and April 27, between mile-points 3.4 and 8. An accident on a Saturday in June took the life of a pedestrian.
7. Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County: 5 dead in 5 accidents
Although this is the prime way for many to reach the Jersey Shore, none of the crashes occurred during the summer. There were two accidents just 3/10 of a mile apart in Wall, and one each in Tinton Falls, Middletown, and Hazlet.
8. Route 559 in Atlantic County: 5 dead in 4 accidents
All the accidents occurred along a 12-mile stretch in Hamilton. There was a two-person fatality on a Sunday in March, and a driver was killed on a Wednesday later that month. In September, a driver died on a Sunday and another was killed the following Wednesday.
9. Route 73 in Camden County: 5 dead in 4 accidents
Three of the crashes occurred on Mondays — one in the afternoon and two at night. A five-mile stretch in Winslow saw three accidents, including one that killed both a driver and a passenger. A pedestrian died in Berlin at milepoint 18.4.
10. Route 21 in Essex County: 5 dead in 4 accidents
Four were killed in three accidents along a stretch of this busy road less than a mile long in Newark: A pedestrian died in each of two accidents, while a driver and passenger were killed in the third. Belleville was the site of a driver fatality.
11. Route 1 in Mercer County: 5 dead in 3 accidents
The single most deadly accident on this list occurred on August 2, when three passengers — two of them children — died at milepost 2.3 in Lawrence in a crash involving an SUV and a tractor trailer that was allegedly making an illegal U-turn. Another Lawrence accident four miles away took the life of a driver. The third accident killed a passenger in West Windsor.