An abundance of drivers packed on the road, and abundant distractions such as pedestrians, cyclists, buses, and taxis. This makes all New York boroughs are high-risk areas for car accidents. By driving safely, you decrease your risk of an accident significantly. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk for accidents caused by other drivers or circumstances beyond your control.
Here are some of the most common causes of New York car crashes. If another’s negligence leads to you being injured, your New York car accident lawyer can help you determine which causes may be most relevant to your case, and help you get the compensation you deserve for what you have suffered.
Driver impairment occurs when a driver is impaired by alcohol, illicit substances, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications. Intoxication can cause drivers to become drowsy, use poor judgement, and have delayed reaction times. All of this can, of course, lead to dangerous car crashes.
If you are involved in a car accident and suspect that the other driver may be impaired, call 911 immediately, and inform the dispatcher that you believe the other driver may be intoxicated. This will hopefully ensure a rapid response time and assessment of the other driver’s sobriety.
New York takes a tough stance on impaired driving, so proving the impairment of the other driver will be paramount to receiving compensation for your injuries and in ensuring that criminal charges are brought against the other driver.
Driver fatigue is another common cause of car accidents. This is particularly common with commercial drivers or ridesharing services. These drivers are often on the road for long periods of time without resting.
Studies have shown that fatigue can impair drivers just as much as alcohol consumption. Like drunk driving, drowsy driving makes it difficult to pay attention to the road. Drowsy driving can also impair judgement, making a dangerous car crash much more likely.
Unsafe, negligent, or otherwise reckless driving practices such as speeding, rubbernecking, running red lights, and executing improper turns dramatically increases the risk of a dangerous, injurious accident.
To determine whether an accident occurred due to reckless driving, police will look for evidence of speeding. They then determine if the at-fault driver may have run a red light, executed an improper turn, or otherwise engaged in reckless behavior.
Distracted driving is an increasingly common cause of New York car crashes. As technology becomes more integrated in our lives, we have many more gadgets in the car to distract us, such as cell phones, navigation systems, tablets, and even car televisions.
Other common causes of driver distractions include children, other passengers, eating, putting on makeup, or looking for an object inside the vehicle. All of these distractions can cause drivers to divert their eyes and attention from the road.
Cell phone use is one of the most common culprits for distracted driving. In New York it is illegal to use a cell phone in any capacity while driving, and there is currently a new proposal in the New York state senate that would require both drivers to submit their phones for field testing to determine if either driver was using his or her phone prior to the collision.
Texting and driving is particularly dangerous, as drivers must divert their hands, eyes and attention in order to read and respond to texts. As a driver, you should always wait until you’ve reached your destination or pull over to send or read texts. New York highways even have specially designated texting stops to meet this need. Do yourself and other drivers a favor by taking advantage of them!
Because pedestrians are ubiquitous throughout New York, pedestrian accidents are very common. In fact, a pedestrian or cyclist is killed every 48 hours in a New York City traffic accident. Many more are injured.
Despite the fact that criminal charges are not pressed nearly often enough in fatal pedestrian accidents, most pedestrian accidents are the fault of the driver. New legislation is seeking to change the law to make it easier to prosecute dangerous drivers who harm pedestrians.
That being said, there are times when improper pedestrian behavior actually causes an accident. If you are injured hitting a pedestrian or get into an accident trying to avoid crashing into them and they are acting negligently, a skilled New York car crash lawyer may be able to build a case against them and argue that they need to compensate you.
Bottom line? Auto accidents here happen for all sorts of reasons. If you’re hurt due to someone else’s negligence, fight back for the compensation you deserve.