Driving in New York can be considered an art form, especially in metropolitan regions such as New York City. Defensive driving practices can be difficult to maintain in aggressive and congested traffic. The result is a high accident rate, as the NY state experienced 250,000 automobile accidents in 2012. Of course, the aggregate statistics for pedestrians and cyclists is much lower, but the averages per million may be similar. The general social conditions associated with living in urban areas could be contributory, but ultimately the safety practices of all motorists have the most impact.
Automobiles, Pedestrians, and Cyclists
With over 250,000 accidents in 2012, fatalities on NY highways totaled over 1,000. This resulted in a death rate of over 10 victims per 100,000 residents. This also included an injury rate of approximately 1500 victims per the same population. David Perecman, a car accident attorney New York based states; “New York has no-fault laws in car accident cases, which means every auto accident victim can have his or her medical bills and lost wages covered by insurance regardless of who was to blame for the crash.”
There were over 15,000 accidents involving automobiles and pedestrians, with approximately 6,000 more involving bicyclists. There were 312 pedestrian and 45 bicyclist fatalities. Total accidents for motorcycles are also approximately 6,000, but they are considered as motor vehicles by law. However, motorcycle operators experience many of the same safety concerns as pedestrians, even though they use the highway almost exclusively.
Commercial Vehicles Statistics
The regional commercial environment also creates a huge amount of traffic involving commercial vehicles. These vehicles can range in size from a van to a tandem of eighteen-wheelers, but they are a significant portion of the traffic density. Although each accident involving a huge highway vehicle is serious and often deadly, the total number of accidents in NY is relatively low. There were approximately 10,000 accidents involving eighteen-wheelers in New York state, with 83 fatalities.
New York state did have higher rates when compared to surrounding states, such as Pennsylvania. However, most of the surrounding region is generally rural with nothing to compare to the megalopolis that is New York City. Even the area across the Hudson River is densely populated and practically a state unto itself population-wise. One advantage of the urban area is the comprehensive network of public transportation that many residents utilize completely. This greatly helps alleviate what would surely present a worse congestion and accident rate scenario.
So, how safe are New York drivers? New York appears similar to other states in the New England area, but may be vulnerable to higher statistical ratings because of aggregate levels of socioeconomic activity in the metropolitan areas. New York City is infamous for aggressive traffic. Ultimately, New Yorkers are “as safe as they drive” if the typical motorist will implement good driving skills and make good driving decisions.
Anyone involved in an accident that occurred in the the big apple should retain a local car accident attorney New York based for legal representation because New York is a “no-fault” insurance state and an injury victim may be entitled to damages from multiple respondents with a maximum compensatory award. Also known as first-party insurance, it provides coverage of the drivers injuries and vehicle damage from their own insurance policy up to a certain amount, but does not exclude the possibility of an additional suit against a negligent “at-fault” driver.