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Top Causes of New York Car Accidents to Look Out For

According to the New York Police Department’s latest traffic statistics report, in December 2019 alone there were 14,183 motor vehicle collisions in New York City. What’s worse, these crashes resulted in more than 3,000 injuries and fatalities among motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Across the state, the numbers are not much better: in 2019 there were 434,596 crashes and 882 fatalities. Needless to say, whether you walk, ride a bike, or drive, this is not good news if you’re a New Yorker, but research shows that there are certain types of car accidents to look out for. Below I’ll tell you more about the most common accident types to be aware of and how a New York car accident lawyer can help if you are injured in one.

New York City Car Accident Statistics

Depending on whether you are driving in New York City or elsewhere in the state, the types of accidents you encounter will look quite different. In May of last year, the Guardian U.S. Edition reported that traffic deaths in New York City increased 30 percent in 2019. The increasing frequency of fatal car accidents in New York City is incredibly frightening. But when we break down the numbers further, we can see that the vast majority of accidents involving injuries and fatalities could have been prevented had drivers simply adhered to traffic laws and safe driving practices.

According to the NYPD report above, there were several leading contributing factors in car accidents that caused injuries or deaths in New York City in recent months. The top cause was driver inattention and distraction, which was a contributing factor in accidents involving 4329 vehicles. Following too closely and failure to yield the right-of-way were close seconds, and were involved in 2482 accidents that resulted in injuries and fatalities. In addition, improper passing or lane usage, backing unsafely, passing too closely, and unsafe speed were other major contributing factors.

Among the many take-home messages here is that regardless of where or how you are traveling, even in congested traffic at low speeds, there is the increasing possibility that you could be injured or even killed in a New York City car accident. While there is no way to prevent what other drivers are doing, paying attention to your own habits and being especially aware of the contributing factors above could help you stay a little safer when driving, walking, or cycling in the city.

Other Common New York Car Accident Types

Outside of busy New York City, accidents across the rest of the state are common. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents across the country are no different in New York State. Rollovers, especially among SUVs and other tall vehicles carrying heavy loads, are among the top causes of serious accidents. Rollovers are frequently fatal, causing nearly 35 percent of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes, according to the NHTSA.

When it comes to the most common type of car accidents overall, rear-end collisions are at the top of the list, making up approximately 30 percent of all car accidents each year. Objects in the road, poor weather, faulty brakes, and other issues that prevent safe and gradual stopping are commonly responsible. In addition, most drivers fail to leave enough room between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. (We should all make it a point to drive 3 to 5 seconds behind the vehicle we are following.) Unfortunately, rear-end collisions are especially common at high speeds, and often result in serious head and neck injuries and whiplash.

In Long Island and surrounding areas, one of the most frightening types of accident we see is a head-on collision. I am including these in the list because although nationally head-on collisions only account for 2 percent of all accidents, they account for over 10 percent of driving fatalities according to the NHTSA, making them the most dangerous type of accident. Simple acts of inattention often cause these accidents, such as failing to pay attention to traffic signals or making a left turn at an intersection with too little time or when traffic is approaching fast. Texting while driving and alcohol and drug impairment can also cause these accidents, whose repercussions are severe, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis.

Side-impact collisions are also prevalent, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all car accident passenger deaths. These accidents often happen at intersections or in parking lots when a car is passing another vehicle. As you can imagine, the injuries sustained if you are the passenger and another vehicle hits the side of the vehicle you are sitting on can be extremely severe.

When a New York Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Regardless of the type of accident you have experienced on New York roads, if you have been injured, and especially if those injuries are serious, it is in your best interest to consult with a New York car accident attorney to improve your chances of being fairly compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, and other serious and devastating losses that occur after such accidents.

Buttafuoco and Associates has been successfully assisting New Yorkers in these claims since 1981 and we will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your rights and the types of compensation you may be entitled to, contact us at 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free consultation.


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