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A Look at Statistics on Car Accidents in New York

Posted by attorney Edward Lake

Statistics on car accidents in New York can shed light on trends and contributing factors in car crashes. This raises greater awareness of how we can help make our roads safer and reduce incidents of auto accidents in New York.

Overview of Statistics on Car Accidents in New York

According to statistics on car accidents in New York from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, there were 1,169 total traffic fatalities in the state. This number is down slightly from 2010 when there were 1,201 traffic fatalities in New York.

A total of 1,530 drivers were involved in fatal crashes, the majority of whom were age 21 and over (1,361).

The following had the top 10 counties for traffic fatalities in 2011 in the state:

  • SuffolkCounty– 145;
  • NassauCounty– 89;
  • KingsCounty– 81;
  • QueensCounty– 67;
  • BronxCounty– 65;
  • ErieCounty– 50;
  • New YorkCounty– 46;
  • MonroeCounty– 45;
  • OrangeCounty– 35; and
  • WestchesterCounty– 34.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles reports that in 2011, there were a total of 128,036 nonfatal injury crashes, but only 116,575 were reported to the police. Of those injured in a nonfatal crash, 106,335 involved drivers, and 48,677 involved passengers.

The Department of Motor Vehicles also provides statistics on car accidents in New York involving pedestrians, which totaled 15,928. There were 6,076 motor vehicle crashes with bicycles.

The following are some notable statistics on car accidents in New York:

  • the majority of crashes caused minor injuries (84,836);
  • there were 10,055 serious injury crashes;
  • Friday and Wednesday had the highest number of crashes;
  • most crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. (67,869);
  • the fewest crashes occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. (11,939); and
  • 60.8 percent of crashes involved two vehicles (187,097).

Top Contributing Factors in Car Crashes

The following are the top five contributing human factors in car crashes:

  • driver inattention/distraction – 49,917;
  • following too closely – 42,700;
  • failure to yield right-of-way – 39,417;
  • unsafe speed – 27,547; and
  • improper passing or lane usage – 12,534.

The following are the top five vehicular factors in auto accidents:

  • defective brakes – 1,913;
  • inadequate or tire failure – 1,630;
  • oversized vehicle – 836;
  • steering failure – 639; and
  • other – 5,160.

The following are the top five environmental factors in auto accidents:

  • slippery pavement – 24,995;
  • animal involvement – 22,645;
  • limited/obstructed view – 5,645;
  • glare – 2,454; and
  • debris/obstruction – 2,157.

Proving Fault in a Car Accident

When injured drivers want to seek compensation after an accident, it will need to be proven that someone else was at fault. To build a strong case, it will require ample evidence that the other driver acted negligently. Physical evidence may include the damaged vehicle, pictures and a copy of the police report.

Other types of information or documentation that can be helpful in building a strong case include statements from witnesses and traffic citations for violating traffic laws. An attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can discuss with you whether you may have a valid case. Statistics on car accidents in New York can be helpful in monitoring trends throughout the state, but each case is unique and deserves individual attention.

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