The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York City
Of the thousands of car accidents that occur in New York City each month, most are caused by driver negligence, according to the New York Police Department. In October 2020, there were 3,199 vehicle collisions resulting in injuries or fatalities to motorists, passengers, bicyclists or pedestrians. These were what the NYPD found to be the most common contributing causes:
- Driver inattention or distraction — By far, the top cause of injurious or fatal car accidents citywide in October 2020 was driver inattention or distraction, accounting for 2,718 of the total. A driver’s focus might be diverted from the road for any number of reasons, such as talking, eating, looking at the GPS, or adjusting the radio. A driver’s failure to concentrate on the road can cause the vehicle to swerve into a different lane, sideswipe another vehicle or rear-end the car in front.
- Following too closely — The next most common contributing cause, which was involved in 723 serious accidents, was tailgating in congested or bumper-to-bumper traffic. Drivers’ failure to ensure that a reasonably safe distance is kept between their vehicle and the car ahead of them can lead to rear-end collisions. Following too closely also can lead to chain-reaction accidents, in which several cars collide into each other in sequence.
- Failure to yield — A driver’s failure to yield to a vehicle with the right of way at one of New York City’s countless intersections can result in a collision that leads to severe injuries. In October 2020, there were 690 accidents due at least in part to a driver’s failure to yield. In addition, there were 309 collisions resulting from drivers’ disregard of stop signs or traffic lights.
- Improper passing or lane usage — There were 388 serious collisions involving drivers failing to use proper signals, to check their blind spots or otherwise to exercise caution while passing another vehicle. Another 347 accidents resulted from vehicles passing more closely than traffic conditions permitted and 218 collisions were due to unsafe lane changes.
- Speeding and reckless driving — Traveling at unsafe speeds accounted for 341 serious accidents, while another 79 collisions involved aggressive driving or road rage. Alcohol consumption was a contributing factor in 162 crashes that caused injuries or death.
Motorists and passengers who sustained injuries in car accidents due to another driver’s negligence or carelessness may be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, time lost from work and out-of-pocket medical expenses that were not covered by no-fault insurance. They may also be eligible to recover noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.
Rubenstein & Rynecki represents New York City clients injured in car accidents and helps them recover the compensation they deserve. To schedule a consultation at our Brooklyn office, please call 718-522-1020 or contact us online.