The further west you travel on Route 22 – the less chance you have for getting into a ridiculously unnecessary accident caused by a selfish distracted driver.

And those especially distracted by their narcissistic need to consume content on their personal cell phone. At all times. Even when operating a dangerous motor vehicle.

Hunterdon County had the least distracted driving accidents caused by phone usage. Almost a tenth of the worst offender, Hudson County.

You could say the more open roads in rural areas of NJ may have something to do with it. But it could also be the more conservative and practical nature of residents who live outside major city areas.

Besides Hunterdon, out of the seven Counties we cover here on NJroute22.com, Warren County, Somerset County, Morris County and Middlesex County also fared quite well, among the best in the state. While Essex County and Union County were among the worst.

Where do distracted driver accidents happen in NJ?

Where do New Jersey’s Distracted Drivers Live?

Via Quote Wizard
As a driver in New Jersey, it’s common to see the driver next to you on their phone, looking like a bobblehead, up at the road and down at their phone. If this feels like an all-too-common occurrence on New Jersey roads, your instincts are correct.

New Jersey ranks number one in the country for most distracted drivers. New Jersey drivers use their phones once every 4.7 miles driven. The high frequency of cell phone use on New Jersey roads is leading to a high rate of cell phone related car accidents.

Reviewing New Jersey Department of Transportation data on crashes related to cell phone usage to see how bad the problem is, and find where the worst distracted drivers are. Data shows a 29% increase in crashes related to cell phone usage from 2011 to 2016. Not only is New Jersey guilty of distracted driving, but it’s trending upward.

Using NJDT cell phone usage crash data and county population data, we found the New Jersey counties with the highest rate of distracted driving accidents. Below is a ranking of all 21 New Jersey counties from highest rate of distracted driving car crashes to the lowest.

Stats: NJ Distracted Drivers by County

Rank County Population Cell Phone Car Crashes Crashes per 10,000 People
1 Hudson County 679,756 779 11.46
2 Essex County 800,401 540 6.75
3 Passaic County 510,563 334 6.54
4 Cape May County 94,549 57 6.03
5 Camden County 510,996 239 4.68
6 Burlington County 449,192 191 4.25
7 Monmouth County 627,551 254 4.05
8 Atlantic County 272,926 98 3.59
9 Ocean County 589,699 193 3.27
10 Union County 557,320 170 3.05
11 Gloucester County 291,372 85 2.92
12 Cumberland County 154,952 44 2.84
13 Bergen County 937,920 255 2.72
14 Salem County 63,776 17 2.67
15 Middlesex County 837,288 213 2.54
16 Morris County 498,847 121 2.43
17 Mercer County 373,362 90 2.41
18 Somerset County 333,316 75 2.25
19 Warren County 107,088 24 2.24
20 Sussex County 143,570 28 1.95
21 Hunterdon County 125,717 24 1.91

Where do distracted driver accidents happen in NJ?

Top Offending Counties in NJ for Distracted Driving

1. Hudson County
Biggest Cities: Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken

At 11.46 distracted car crashes per 10,000 people, Hudson County is nearly double that of the next worst distracted driving county. A high rate of passing traffic from the Big Apple into Hudson County could be a leading cause.

2. Essex County
Biggest Cities: Newark, Orange, Montclair

Neighboring to the west of Hudson Country, Essex County is another high traffic area with frequent distracted driving. 6.75 distracted car crashes per 10,000 people is significantly less than Hudson County but means Essex is the second most distracted county in New Jersey.

3. Passaic County
Biggest Cities: Paterson, Clifton

North of Essex County is Passaic County, which barely edged their southern neighbors for third on our list. Passaic had 6.54 distracted car accidents per 10,000 people.

4. Cape May County
Biggest Cities: Woodbine, Ocean City, Cape May

Bucking the trend of population dense counties, Cape May comes in a number four on in our ranking. Considering Cape May’s population, 6.03 distracted driving accidents per 10,000 people is a high figure. The second lowest population and the fourth highest rate of accidents among New Jersey counties signal a unique issue for the county. Could the summer vacationers to the shore be more focused on the beach and phones rather than the road?

5. Camden County
Biggest Cities: Camden, Cherry Hill

Though Camden county has a lower rate of distracted drivers than northern New Jersey counties, Camden County still pulled at top 5 ranking at 4.68 distracted car crashes per 10,000 people.

Middlesex and Bergen Counties
The trend we’re seeing is that there’s a higher rate of distracted driving accidents in more population dense counties. It follows conventional wisdom of higher odds of accidents happening with more people on the roads.

However, Middlesex and Bergen counties are the two most populated counties in New Jersey and both rank in the bottom half among distracted driving counties. Police patrolling of distracted drivers could play a role, or the drivers of Middlesex and Bergen counties could be more focused on the road.

Methodology
Rankings were determined by counties with the highest rate of cell phone related car crashes per 10,000 people. To get crash figures, we used 2016 New Jersey Department of Transportation data on crashes related to cell phone usage. We then used New Jersey county population to compare the rate of car crashes. The final rankings are a rate of car crashes per 10,000 county residents.

About the author

NJroute22

NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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