The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, also known as the BQE, is one of the busiest roadways in New York City; it is a section of I-278 that connects the city’s five boroughs from Manhattan to Staten Island. Whether you are an experienced city driver or are unfamiliar with the area, several factors can increase the risk of a severe car accident on the BQE.

According to an internal Department of Transportation analysis, car and truck accidents declined by 65 percent on the Queens-bound side of the triple-cantilever section of the BQE and 44 percent on the Staten Island-bound side from September 2021 to January 2022 compared to 2019. The crashes involving injuries declined by 26 percent on the Queens-bound side and 29 percent on the Staten Island-bound side during the same period. The decline in crashes occurred after the former mayor scrapped plans to add a lane in each direction based on evidence that fewer lanes on the BQE are safer for motorists traveling on the highway. However, the current mayor presented three proposals to add lanes and increase the width of the lanes to meet federal guidelines. In addition to the lane issue, portions of the BQE are in terrible condition, making driving hazardous.

Navigating the busy city streets can be challenging, even for the most experienced driver. The BQE is one of many bustling city highways that can be difficult to navigate, particularly when traffic is heavy. The following are proactive safety tips to help you safely navigate the BQE.

Stay Alert at All Times

Whenever you are behind the wheel, it is essential that you avoid distractions and keep your attention focused on the road. This is particularly important when driving on busy, congested city streets like the BQE. Do not read or send text messages or talk on the phone. Ensure you constantly scan the road ahead, check your rear and side view mirrors, and take breaks if you feel drowsy.

Familiarize Yourself With Local Traffic Laws and Regulations

Make sure that you know the rules of the road and the traffic patterns in Brooklyn and understand the traffic laws. In addition, it is important that you pay close attention to other motorists’ driving styles, particularly when traffic is congested. Always follow the speed limit, stay informed about neighborhood parking rules, and recognize the city’s traffic hotspots.

Practice Defensive Driving

When driving in any busy city, it is important to be a defensive driver. Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, observe other cars so that you can anticipate their movements, be ready to react quickly if another vehicles swerve or come to an immediate stop, and be aware of other drivers in the vicinity.

Stay Calm

Heavy traffic, poor road conditions, and other motorists’ unsafe and irresponsible driving behaviors can be frustrating. However, losing your temper is never a good idea, particularly if your aggressive driving turns into road rage. If you feel like you are losing your cool, take some deep breaths, count to 10, and avoid conflict with other motorists.

Plan Your Route

Even if you are familiar with Brooklyn and the BQE, it is highly recommended that you plan your route, particularly if you are driving at a busy time. You want to take an alternate route that avoids significant delays. Check your GPS to plan the best route, identify where there is likely to be traffic or construction delays, stay informed of road conditions, road closures, and other traffic issues that may cause delays, and avoid driving during peak-hour traffic if at all possible.

Take Additional Safety Measures

The following are examples of additional safety tips that all motorists should follow, whether you are driving on a busy highway or navigating city streets:

  • Always wear your seatbelt. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid an injury in the event of a serious car accident.
  • Pay close attention to vehicles that are entering the highway.
  • Check your mirrors frequently.
  • Do not assume you will be given the right-of-way, even if you follow the rules of the road.
  • Always reduce your speed and increase your following distance during inclement weather.
  • Keep your windshields and rear windows clean.
  • Never get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, including over-the-counter medications that can cause drowsiness or other impairments.

Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki Represent Clients Who Have Been Injured on the BQE

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident on the BQE, it is in your best interest to contact one of our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of your case, assist you with every step of the legal process, and address all of your questions and concerns. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 718-522-1020 or contact us online. Located in Brooklyn, New York, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.