Many car accidents occur daily throughout New York City due to roadway congestion, cyclists, and near-constant pedestrian traffic. One borough in particular rises above all others for the number of accidents – Brooklyn. According to the New York Police Department (NYPD), Brooklyn averages 32,000 accidents annually, one-third of all citywide collisions annually. One 11-mile stretch of highway is often to blame – the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).

Constructed during the 1940s, the BQE is an 11-mile stretch of highway between the Grand Central Parkway in Queens and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The BQE is widely known for its unique section of triple cantilever design. The triple cantilever is a 0.4-mile section with three Eastbound lanes positioned above three Westbound lanes and topped by the Brooklyn Promenade pedestrian walkway.

As the only significant highway between Brooklyn and Queens, the BQE cannot be shut down for lengthy repair periods, resulting in poor roads, heavy traffic congestion, and making it the source of many accidents each year due to the following:

  • Maintenance: In the decades since its opening, the BQE has become decayed, is overly traveled, and riddled with potholes and crumbling asphalt. It is consistently cited as one of the worst maintained stretches of highway in any of the world’s major cities.
  • Unsafe behavior: Coupled with the BQE’s road conditions and high traffic congestion, any of the following driving behaviors heighten the risk of accidents significantly:
    • Aggressive driving
    • Distracted driving
    • Drowsy driving
    • Drunk driving
    • Failure to yield
    • Speeding
    • Tailgating
    • Unsafe reversing
    • Weather
  • Design failure: Many also worry that the decayed concrete and steel girders visible in the cantilever sections will fail catastrophically during rush hour traffic.
  • Freight Traffic: The highway is consistently filled with commercial cargo vans and delivery trucks that travel the city almost daily. Nearly 15 percent of all traffic is freight, adding stress points along portions of the road, particularly the raised triple cantilever sections.
  • Time of day: According to accident data, specific times and days affect the rate of accidents on the BQE. Evenings, particularly during rush hour, experience a significant surge in accidents when traffic congestion is at its highest volume. During fall and winter’s earlier sunsets, evenings pose additional risk to pedestrians or cyclists, leaving them vulnerable due to low visibility.
  • Day of the week: Weekends also see an increase in accidents along the BQE, particularly Friday and Saturday nights, often related to unsafe driving behaviors, such as drunk driving, speeding, improper passing, or lane usage.

Dangerous Roads in Brooklyn

According to the NYPD, other accident-prone areas of Brooklyn include: 

  • Stillwell Avenue and Avenue Z
  • Bay 54th Street and Cropsey Avenue
  • Brighton 3rd Street
  • Brighton Beach Avenue and Coney Island Avenue
  • West 12th Street and Neptune Avenue
  • Ocean Parkway and Ocean View Avenue
  • West 24th Street and Surf Avenue
  • Ocean Avenue and Avenue U
  • Ocean Parkway and Avenue V
  • 15th Avenue and Bay Ridge Avenue
  • The Brooklyn side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

Our BQE Attorneys at Rubenstein & Rynecki Represent Clients Injured in Collisions

The BQE experiences the most accidents in New York City. If you have been injured in an accident, our BQE attorneys at Rubenstein & Rynecki can help you seek the justice you deserve for your injuries and losses. Call us today at 718-522-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Brooklyn, New York, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.