Let's take care of ourselves, Jersey. We live in a dangerous world — and a dangerous state.

Some of the biggest threats to our life and well-being are with us every day. Consider yourself warned:

Tainted groceries

Stay healthy, by dodging these possibly fatal NJ pitfalls (Paula Bronstein, Getty Images News)

In the past few months alone, they've been serious recalls on tuna fish (with possible life-threatening contamination), pistachios (possibly contaminated with contaminated with salmonella) and chicken (that was never properly inspected) being sold across NJ. One way to stay on-top of such scares is to routinely check for food recalls. Another: Keep an eye on NJ1015.com.

Sepsis (blood poisoning)

Stay healthy, by dodging these possibly fatal NJ pitfalls (Braden Gunem/ThinkStock)

The same thing that led to actress Patty Duke's death is actually a 'notable' cause of death in NJ. Sepsis is enough of a concern that health care professionals statewide have been working on early recognition and treatment. It can be caused by any type of infection in your body, even minor ones.


Stay healthy, by dodging these possibly fatal NJ pitfalls (FEMA, Getty Images News)

They've always been a nuisance, but as carriers of such viruses as West Nile and more recently, Zika — these pests could pose a real threat if left unchecked. So far with Zika, there haven't been any locally acquired cases. But, there has been recent understanding that local mosquitoes could someday carry the disease.


Stay healthy, by dodging these possibly fatal NJ pitfalls (tomasworks,ThinkStock)

It's not hunkering down on the couch that's of concern- it's the lack of activity in-between all those episodes of "House of Cards" or "Game of Thrones." Heart disease is far and away the leading cause of death in NJ.

So, maybe mix in some treadmill time or crunches with your Netflix marathons.

Distracted bathing/swimming

Ever moment counts when it comes to children and water safety. Unintentional injuries rank within the top five causes of death in NJ. That includes traffic accidents and drownings.

While the above video highlights 'seasonal' safety tips, kid supervision is just as important at bath time. So, put the smart phone down, and resist the urge to dart into the kitchen while drawing those baths — the risk isn't worth it!

Driving on Jersey roads


Does it ever feel like everyone else on the road is taking their lives — and yours — in their hands with crazy speeding, texting and aggressive driving?

Well, maybe there are. It pays to be as safe as possible — especially if you're on these roads. According to state Department of Transportation data, they're the ones with the higest incidences of crashes in 2014:

  • Route 156: 14.09 crashes per million vehicle miles traveled
  • Route 140: 11.82
  • Route 67: 10.31
  • Route 82: 10.29
  • Route 124: 10.22
  • Route 63: 9.58
  • Route 139U: 8.88
  • Route 7: 8.46
  • Route 184: 8.38
  • Route 59: 7.97

So wait, a comparatively tiny road like Route 156 has a lower crash rate than a big highway like Route 1? It's true — because while there are far more crashes on Route 1, there are also far more cars traveling far more distance.

Overall, New Jersey State Police have recorded 108 accidents and 117 fatalities on Garden State roads so far this year. There were 561 last year, which is about average for recent years.

Going to the amusement park


Let's be clear to start: It's been decades since anyone was involved in a fatal accident at any New Jersey amusement park — and some of those deaths can be chalked up to careless riders, horrible luck, really unexpected circumstances or even criminal acts out of the parks' control.

The state also regulates amusement park rides a lot more closely than it used to, and there haven't been any deaths in the time the Department of Community Affairs started its oversight. Accidents, even ones just causing bumps and bruises, are way down overall.

But there is some history of fatal calamity at amusement parks in the Garden State. Most notoriously: When you think of dangerous amusement parks, it's hard not to think pack to Action Park's reputation as a deathtrap in the 1980s and 1990s.

And in fact, six people died at Action Park during its heyday — three drownings in the WavePool, one death on the Alpine Slide, an electrocution on the Kayak Experience and a heart attack blamed on cold water on the Tarzan Swing.

There were unfortunate incidents back in the 1980s at Six Flags Great Adventure, too. In 1984, eight teenagers were trapped in Six Flags Great Adventure's Haunted Castle and died when it was destroyed by a fire. A judge found Great Adventure wasn't responsible — an arsonist was to blame. Then, in 1987, a girl died after falling from the Lightnin' Loops roller coaster. The state found the ride itself was perfectly safe — but an operator didn't make sure all passengers were secured.

Fortunately, nothing like that has happened in a long time. So if you're looking for a thrill this summer, don't be too worried — but make sure you strap in and follow instructions!

Erin Vogt is a lifelong Jersey Girl, whose first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.