New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, so you might imagine that our roads would not have great safety records, but a new study finds the Garden State has some of the safest roads in the country.

(yuanyuan xie, ThinkStock)
(yuanyuan xie, ThinkStock)

A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study reviewed the fatality rates of states, factoring in both population and the number of miles driven, and New Jersey did well in both categories.

In 2012, New Jersey's fatality rate of 6.64 per 100,000 people ranked as seventh best in the country, and the state's 7.94 deaths per billion miles driven was sixth best.

Gary Poedubicky, the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety believes a number of factors are contributing to the positive trend, including "increased safety belt usage rates, greater awareness of drunk driving programs, better highway safety design and airbags in our vehicles."

Poedubicky said the division also has "a number of various campaigns ongoing in our state throughout the year: our click it or ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, as well as our drive sober or get pulled over campaign."

He stressed, however, that more needs to be done to improve safety.

"We need to continue to do everything possible to increase our seat belt use and put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving, and to encourage all drivers to put safety first," he said.

Poedubicky said that means that "when they get behind the wheel, to keep their mind on the road, put all their mobile devices away and just stay focused on driving."

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