Driving should be a convenient and pleasurable experience. Most of the time it is but, unfortunately, accidents happen more often than we like to think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 943 New Yorkers died on the roads in 2018.
Different accidents create different types of insurance issues. New York is a no-fault state, which means that everyone involved in the accident will receive some amount of medical coverage, regardless of the accident type. But, realistically, medical bills may be much higher than what’s provided through this insurance. In order to secure adequate compensation, victims may have to file a personal injury claim, prove that their injuries are serious, and that another driver was at fault.
The first step of this process is understanding the different types of accidents. This article will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the leading causes of car accidents in the state of New York.
The leading cause of car accidents in New York State is distracted driving, which caused 87,728 accidents in 2018 alone. A driver is considered distracted if his/her eyes are off the road, hands are off the wheel, or mind is off thinking about something other than driving. Common distractions include cell phones, eating food, looking at the scenery, and even talking with passengers.
Texting While Driving
Texting is the most dangerous distraction because it takes the driver’s eyes, hands, and attention away from driving. Teens are especially likely to get into a texting-related accident. The CDC found that 39% of drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 admitted to having texted while driving within the past 30 days.
If a driver has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of more than .08, he/she is legally drunk and could cause serious harm on the road. In 2018, drunk driving killed 307 New Yorkers. Drunk drivers often hit other vehicles head-on or collide with stationary objects. Drunk driving is overtly reckless and a jury is likely to side with the victim in such a tragedy.
Speeding is one of the most dangerous but, sadly, most common bad driving behaviors. New York saw 35,852 speed-related accidents in 2019, 235 of which resulted in death. Speeding is often accompanied by other reckless behaviors, such as failure to wear a seat belt or driving while under the influence.
A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle rolls onto its side or flips over completely. A car can roll multiple times and fall off the side of the road, into oncoming traffic, or even off a hill or cliff. While a rollover could be caused by a side-swipe or a t-bone collision, these accidents usually don’t involve another driver. Most rollover-related lawsuits are against manufacturers for creating an unsafe vehicle. SUVs are notoriously prone to rollovers, as they are lightweight and sit very high above the ground.
Side impact collisions can be broken down into two categories: ‘sideswipes’ and ‘t-bones.’ A sideswipe is exactly what it sounds like: one vehicle swipes the side of another. This can occur when vehicles are driving in the same or opposite direction. A t-bone is when one vehicle hits another at a right angle. T-bones often occur at intersections when a driver runs a red light or rolls past a stop sign.
Head-on collisions happen when the front of one car collides with the front of another. This usually happens when one car drifts into opposing traffic (often as a result of drunk or distracted driving). Nearly 30% of all fatal motor vehicles crashes in 2018 were caused by head-on collisions.
A multi-vehicle accident occurs when three or more vehicles are involved in the same accident. Any factor that could cause a two-car accident could also cause a multi-car accident. These types of accidents often take place on highways and at intersections. Accident cases involving multiple vehicles are notoriously complex, as it can be tricky to determine who is at fault.
In the State of New York, 15,000 pedestrians are injured and 300 are killed each year in auto-related accidents. In fact, injuries to pedestrians are among the top 10 leading causes of hospital admissions and death for almost all age groups In New York. Most pedestrian accidents occur at night in urban areas and, surprisingly, away from intersections. Children and older adults are at high risk of being struck by a vehicle. A person walking across the street is no match for a multi-ton vehicle and the resultant injuries are usually very severe or fatal.
Uber & Lyft
The driver of a ride-sharing vehicle could get into any of the accidents listed above. If their passenger gets injured, though, getting coverage becomes much more complicated. If an Uber driver injures someone in a different vehicle, that adds an additional layer of complication. This issue is especially relevant in New York City, where ride-sharing apps are increasingly popular. Ride-sharing-accident cases require an expert attorney who can negotiate effectively with insurance adjusters.
No matter what type of accident, all victims deserve quality legal representation. The attorneys at Rosenblum Law have produced positive results for their clients both in court and by settlement. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident of any kind, call Rosenblum Law at 888-815-3649 or email us today.
Case Study: $21 Million
What makes this case unique: Defense witness testified in favor of plaintiff; judge was a former Attorney General who had lost a substantial case to Mr. Rosenblum years earlier; Appellate Court actually increased the award amount.