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The Big Apple and Car Accidents

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

With the dearth of parking in New York City and the congestion, one might be tempted to think that New York City’s traffic accidents would be relatively minor relative to the size of the city. That would be wrong.

According to the New York City Police Department, there were 228,047 car accidents in 2018 citywide.That breaks down to:

  • 19,000 Car Accidents per month.
  • 4,750 Car Accidents per week.
  • 678 Car Accidents per day.
  • 28 Car Accidents per hour.
  • Car Accident every 2 minutes.

In 2019, New York city car accident fatalities jumped a shocking 30%. While the Vision Zero project has had a positive impact on pedestrian deaths in NY City, the same can not be said of car accident deaths.

Critcs say Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have been too slow to rebuild dangerous streets and too quick to bow to complaints from motorists inconvenienced by changes like protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands.

“There is so much more the mayor has failed to do. So much that he has deliberately chosen not to do,” said Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives.

crackdown on delivery cyclists has distracted from safety measures, Conner said.

“Enough with the mayor heeding the voices of a few … at the expense of the rest of the city,” he said. “When we delay safety measures, people die.”

The city department of transportation says that by its count, which may categorize crashes differently, the increase in deaths this year is 10% – from 58 at the same time in 2018 to 64 in 2019.

The most recently available data on traffic accidents in New York City shows that Queens and Brooklyn own the top spots in terms of the number of car accident injuries while Brooklyn has the dubious distinction of leading the boroughs in traffic fatalities.

Most car accidents in New York City were caused by distracted driving. In fact, more than a quarter of them were. According to the recent statistics, the top ten leading causes of accidents in NYC were:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Fatigue
  • Other/unknown causes
  • Backing up improperly/unsafely
  • Loss of driver consciousness
  • Improper turning or failure to use the turning signal
  • Prescription medications
  • Driver inexperience/new drivers
  • Slippery pavement or poor road conditions

As you can see, most of the common causes of an NYC auto accident can be avoided. Paying proper attention while driving could cause a significant drop in NYC car accident statistics. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident anywhere in New York City, contact me Attorney Ed Ruffo for a free initial consultation.

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