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What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York

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When it comes to avoiding vehicle accidents in New York, the best way to stay safe is to learn more about the most common causes of accidents. Then you will know what to look out for and what to avoid. Of course, accidents still can and will happen. It’s an unavoidable part of life. This article will help you learn how to improve your odds.

According to the New York State Department of Health, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death in the state. Nearly 122,871 New Yorkers were injured and killed in vehicle accidents in 2018 alone. Read more about the most common causes of vehicle crashes so you can identify potential risks and learn how to avoid them.

If you’re a New Yorker, you may need an attorney in the future because the risk of accidents is high. No matter where you are in the state, there is a car accident lawyer near you who will give you a free case review. If you are injured in an accident, and you weren’t at fault, you have rights. If you were in one of the types of crashes that are described in this list, your lawyer would make sure your rights are protected.

Distracted Drivers

A March 2019 Motor Vehicle Collision Report Statistics Citywide report determined that distracted driving is the leading cause of vehicle accidents in New York. Unfortunately, this is the downside of the technological advances that have made our lives easier in many ways. Texting while driving or dealing with a child’s tablet can take your eyes off the road for long enough to cause a serious accident.

Under New York State law, drivers are prohibited from talking on cell phones, from texting, and from playing games on their phones. Using your phone to watch videos or even checking your messages is strictly prohibited.

Poorly Maintained Roads

A 2018 report from TRIP, a Washington, DC-based national nonprofit transportation research organization, determined that poorly maintained roads cost New Yorkers an average of $2,800 each year. This means as state drivers are paying $24.8 billion annually. Our potholes contribute to accidents that hurt drivers and also cost them money.

Combine this with congested traffic in an area like Manhattan, where there are over 1.7 million cars, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Many of the roads in New York lack safety features. While the government works to enact measures to lessen the risk, these roads will still present a danger.

Intoxicated Drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drunk driving killed 3,752 New Yorkers from 2003 to 2012. Male drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 were at the highest risk of injury and death. In the report, 1.4% of New York drivers surveyed reported drinking too much before driving in the past 30 days. It is lower than the national average of 1.9%, but still far too high.

Manufacturer Defects

Manufacturer defects like defective tires or airbags can cause accidents and lead to deaths. When a manufacturer makes a product available to the public, they have a duty to keep consumers safe.

Some injuries caused by deaths are accidental because the manufacturer did not realize the product was defective. Others are deliberate, such as a tire seller who knowingly misrepresents a product as being safe to make money.

Reckless Drivers

The reckless driving of New Yorkers is legendary, particularly with respect to our taxi drivers. Some of the dangerous driving behavior drivers engage in include speeding, rubbernecking, and road rage incidents. Drivers who speed, weave, tailgate, and fail to yield are a danger to everyone else on the road.

New York Accident Facts

New York City’s Department of Transportation has taken steps to keep people safe and to enforce safe driver behavior. Despite this, drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians are hurt and killed on New York streets every day. The statistics show that even in years with lower vehicle accident rates, as Manhattan saw in 2018, the figures are still far too high.

Accident Statistics

The accident statistics make it clear that we still have a long way to go before our roads will become safe. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research’s New York State Motor Vehicle Crash Data report, in 2018 in New York, we had:

  • 434,596 vehicle crashes
  • 882 fatal crashes
  • 121,989 crash-related injuries

Pedestrian Accidents

The pedestrian accident rates for the same year in New York also paint a grim picture. Many people in Manhattan skip driving altogether and use walking as their primary mode of transportation. When this many people walk on city streets, it is critical that those streets be safe. Unfortunately, all too often, that is not the case. In late 2019, six pedestrians were killed in three days in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

  • 15,566 pedestrian accidents
  • 269 pedestrian fatalities
  • 15,147 pedestrian injuries

Cyclist Accidents

Cyclists and motorcycle riders have lower rates of accidents. However, the 2018 statistics show there is still an element of risk.

  • 5877 bicycle accidents
  • 30 bicycle accident fatalities
  • 5,618 bicycle accident injuries
  • 4,932 motorcycle accidents
  • 149 motorcycle fatalities
  • 3,671 motorcycle crash injuries

With so many vehicle crashes comes personal injury lawsuits. While many of these cases can be settled directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance, others will go to trial to be decided by a jury.

Don’t Delay Contacting a Lawyer After a Vehicle Accident

When the risk of accidents is this high, the more you know about your legal options, the better off you’ll be if you become a victim. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and many works on a contingency basis.

Remember, some injuries don’t show up right away. If you’ve been in a crash, see a doctor, even if you think you are fine. The sooner you begin documenting your evidence, the better the chances will be that you’ll be able to recover adequate compensation for your damages.