The National Safety Council has recently looked at the way each state reports a car crash. It turns out that none of the states allow police to give a complete picture of a crash because several essential fields are left out. The NSC points out 23 factors that can help explain the reason for a car crash. New Jersey residents should know that the top two states, Kansas and Wisconsin, only record 14 of those factors.
According to the NSC, only 34 states have a field where police can write down whether a driver was texting. The police reports in only 28 states contain a field for hands-free phone use and the use of marijuana and other drugs that are identifiable through positive drug tests. No states have a field for the use of driver assistance systems, and no states give a field or code for police to calculate drivers’ fatigue levels.
The NSC has come out with several recommendations. First, states should consider electronic data collection. Electronic data recorders can be used to collect vital information, such as when someone uses a driver assistance system. States must address the issues of emerging technology more. They must also take a more investigative approach to each crash.
When there is a motor vehicle crash and one side is clearly the victim of negligence, that victim may be able to file a third-party insurance claim. New Jersey being a no-fault state, only those who suffer a serious injury or disability can do so, so victims may want to see a lawyer first. The lawyer might hire investigators to gather proof of the other’s negligence, starting with the police report and including any eyewitness testimony and physical evidence from the crash site.