TOMS RIVER, NJ – According to the Fang Law Firm, a personal injury legal practice based in Colorado, Toms River is home to the third most deadly intersection in America. Between 2000 and 2019, this Toms River intersection had 8 fatal incidents.
The number one and two most deadly intersections also happen to be in New Jersey.
“In the United States, nearly 25 percent of all fatal crashes occur at intersections. While a deadly collision can happen anywhere and at any time, are there intersections where motorists may be at a higher risk of being killed than others,” the firm said in a study this week.
If you want to see where the deadliest intersection in Ocean County is, and the third most deadly in America, look no further than the intersection of State Highway 70 and Massachusetts Avenue.
“The deadliest intersection in the U.S. – Lalor Street and Route 129 – is located in Mercer County, New Jersey and it saw nine fatal crashes from 2000 through 2019,” the report found. “This intersection is one of just 15 in the U.S. that had seven or more fatal crashes during that time period. Among these crossings, four are located in New Jersey, four in Florida, and two in Texas.”
The report found that urban areas tend to have safer roads where roadway deaths occur less frequently.
“There are several possible reasons for higher fatal crashes to occur at rural intersections, in spite of the low population,” the study suggested. “People in rural areas drive at higher speeds, more often drive without wearing seatbelts or while intoxicated, and if they are injured, they may not receive timely medical care given their remote location. The design and layout of rural roads – older and more outdated than urban roads – may also be a contributing factor.”
In this study, we analyzed 2000-2019 fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to filter crashes that occurred in an intersection, or were caused by traffic moving through an intersection (eg. The crash occurred outside the intersection itself but happened because of someone turning, or something of that nature).
“We did not include crashes that happened on freeway interchanges, or happened in other types of intersections, like driveways or walking path/street intersections,” the firm stated.
Although Route 70 is a state highway, the Ocean County Engineering Department noted several upgrades and enhancements have been made to the intersection over the years in an effort to improve safety.
“In regards to Route 70 and Massachusetts Avenue, this is a state Department of Transportation jurisdiction intersection. Ocean County works closely with the DOT and has provided information to the DOT about concerns raised about the intersection,” said Ocean County Public Information Officer Donna Flynn. “The DOT recently made upgrades to the intersection specifically changing the traffic light that controls left turns. Motorists can only make a left turn now on a green arrow. Once the light changes for oncoming traffic, the left turn cannot be made. There were also some adjustments made to the timing of the traffic lights.”
Shore News Network reached out to Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill’s office and communications officer Art Gallagher said the Mayor’s office will respond after reading the report.