While most people stayed off the streets following COVID-19 lockdown orders, those who got out in New York and elsewhere apparently drove faster on the less crowded highways, resulting in more fatal crashes. While the number of crashes decreased overall, the risk of being involved in a fatal collision increased.
The National Safety Council says preliminary estimates based on April data from all 50 states indicate a year-over-year 36.6% jump in fatality rates per miles driven. The actual number of miles driven dropped 40% compared to the same time period last year.
The NSC’s monthly estimates show 27 motor vehicle deaths in New York state in April 2020. In actual numbers, that reflects a 34 percent drop from the 41 fatalities in April 2019. But because the estimated miles driven during the pandemic plummeted, the rate of fatal accidents increased. Some drivers in normally congested NYC are recklessly taking advantage of the fewer cars on the road.
The NSC cites speeding as the main killer on U.S. highways.
“The level of extreme speeding is really shocking,” Harvey Miller, professor of geography and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at The Ohio State University, told Reuters. “What we’re seeing here — the fact that there are less traffic and more speeding — I think that’s evidence that traffic is a great controller of speed.”
New York City Fatalities in the COVID-19 Lockdown
According to a Reuters report, the number of collisions in New York City dropped to 4,103 in April compared to 16,808 by April the year before, a 76% drop. During the same period, fatal collisions decreased from 20 to 13, a 35% decrease. But the number of fatal collisions per 1,000 crashes increased from 1.2 per 1,000 crashes to 3.2 per 1,000 crashes—an increase of 167% in April.
Data from traffic analytics company INRIX shows speeds in New York City increased 44% from 28 miles per hour in April 2019 to 41 miles (66 km) per hour this April.
Police in New York said they were aware of the increased speeds and had deployed additional patrols, according to Reuters.
Brooklyn Fatal Crash Statistics
New York City police report 27 traffic fatalities in Brooklyn through mid-July. This is a 30 percent drop from the 39 reported by the same date a year ago. Twenty-one of this year’s fatalities were in the NYPD’s Brooklyn South precinct.
Citywide, there had been 101 traffic fatalities by July 12, a 9.8 percent decrease from the 12 as of July 12, 2019.
There were 2,478 motor vehicle accidents reported in Brooklyn through the end of June, or for the first half of 2020. Of them, 916 caused injuries or fatalities. Two motorists, one passenger, and three pedestrians were killed.
Causes of Car Accidents in NYC
According to NYPD car accident reports, the top 5 contributing factors in injury and fatal motor vehicle accidents in New York City were:
- Driver inattention/distraction – in more than 2,100 crashes
- Following too closely (577 accidents)
- Failure to yield right-of-way (484)
- Improper passing or lane usage (311)
- Unsafe speed (293)
There were 7,456 motor vehicle collisions across New York City in the first half of 2020, of which 2,644 caused injury or death. Police say 11 motorists, 5 passengers, 9 pedestrians, and 4 cyclists were killed.
Causes of Car Accidents in Brooklyn, NY
Among the most commonly cited causes of accidents in Brooklyn through the first half of the year were:
- Driver inattention/distraction – in 687 accidents
- Following too closely (202 accidents)
- Failure to yield right-of-way (166)
- Improper passing or lane usage (90)
- Unsafe speed (89)
- Passing too closely (87)
- Backing unsafely (80)
- Disregarding traffic control (73)
- Driver inexperience (51)
- Turning improperly (46)
- Alcohol involvement (41)
How a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Speeding, distracted driving, and other reckless driving behaviors continue to cause car accidents in Brooklyn and throughout the City, even during the pandemic.
The NYC car accident lawyers of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you seek compensation if you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver. You may be entitled to recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and more in a personal injury lawsuit pursued by a knowledgeable attorney.
New York’s no-fault insurance system makes serious car accident claims more complicated to resolve. You have to rely on your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay medical costs and lost wages in the event of a crash that causes only minor injuries. If you have serious injuries, David Resnick & Associates can help you determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim outside of the no-fault system. Our New York car accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
We can investigate your accident and injuries to determine whether someone else can be held liable for your injury and determine the appropriate compensation based on your losses. Then we can negotiate aggressively with the insurance companies for a settlement that meets your financial needs.
If an insurance company will not agree to an appropriate settlement or acts in bad faith, we’ll be ready to go to court on your behalf to demand full and fair compensation.
Maximizing your recovery is crucial to ensure that you are compensated for the full financial and emotional impact of the injuries that you have unjustly suffered. The car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., understand this, and we represent car accident victims in Brooklyn and throughout New York City.
For a free initial discussion of your legal options after a car accident, contact us today by calling (212) 279-2000 or by filling out our online contact form.