Common NYC Car Crash Causes
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV), there were 307,550 motor vehicle accidents reported throughout the state in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That year, 1,153 people lost their lives in a motor vehicle crash in New York and another 177,445 people were injured.
A car accident can occur for an infinite number of reasons. Some of the most common factors that cause car crashes include:
- Distracted driving — Distractions have always been a major contributing factor in car crashes. However, with the increased use of handheld electronic devices such as cell phones, distracted driving has become an even bigger concern. According to the NYSDMV, 49,917 crashes in 2011 listed driver inattention as a contributing factor. Those crashes represent almost 20 percent of all crashes in New York that year, making distracted driving the No. 1 cause of all car accidents that year.
- Impaired driving — Despite efforts at the national, state and local level over the past several decades to eradicate drunk driving accidents, they continue to occur. Impaired driving also refers to motorists who drive while under the influence of illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs. NYSDMV data indicate that about 3 percent of all crashes in 2011 were alcohol related, and another 0.02 percent listed illegal drugs as a contributing factor. These statistics may be deceiving though as many drug-related accidents are not accurately reported. For example, some list “falling asleep at the wheel” as the cause instead of alcohol despite the fact that alcohol was actually the cause of the driver’s falling asleep.
- Reckless driving — Speeding, unsafe lane changes, aggressive driving and other reckless driving behaviors are consistently listed as common causes of New York car accidents. For 2011, unsafe speed alone played a role in 27,547, or just over 10 percent, of all accidents in New York. In addition, failure to yield the right of way contributed to 39,417 accidents, representing over 15 percent of all car crashes in 2011, while following too closely (tailgating) contributed to 42,700, or 16.6 percent, of all accidents that year.
- Fatigued or drowsy driving — Experts believe that drowsy driving may be just as dangerous as drunk driving. As people work longer and travel farther from home to work and back again, fatigued driving is increasingly noted as a contributing factor in collisions. Accurate data for drowsy driving crashes are hard to come by because motorists are reluctant to admit they nodded off at the wheel just prior to a crash. However, NYSDMV data indicate that 4,609, or just fewer than 2 percent, of all 2011 crashes were caused by fatigued driving.
- Weather or road conditions — Both weather and road defects can contribute to a car accident in New York. Rain, sleet, ice, snow and fog are obvious weather-related causes. Even the glare from the summer sun can contribute to a car accident. Slippery pavement, for instance, was a factor in almost 10 percent of all accidents in 2011. Along with weather, issues or defects on the road itself can contribute to a car crash. Defective pavement, inadequate lane markings, obstructed views, and traffic control device failures collectively accounted for about 1 percent of all car accidents in 2011.
- Vehicle defects — Just as a defect in the roadway can cause or contribute to a car accident, so can defects in a vehicle. Defects or problems with tires and brakes top the list of vehicle defect contributing factors accounting for 1,630 and 1,913 collisions respectively in 2011 according to the NYSDMV.
Whatever the cause, if you have been injured in an accident in New York, contact the experienced New York City car crash lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C. We can help ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled after a serious accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we offer a free initial evaluation of your claim, and our attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive full maximum compensation in accordance with the law. Call 212-279-2000 today.