Car accidents are a regular phenomenon in the United States. Mostly, the hit and run cases are extremely serious. According to one statistic by the US department of transportation, 943 people died in New York from car accidents in 2018. It is on average three persons per day.
In most cases, these accidents could easily be avoided. This fact is important to know as personal injury lawyers think that knowing these numbers and facts would help in deterring such future occurrences, ensuring safety on roads. Hence if you ever face an accident yourself or your family or friends have faced one, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury law firm. Also, just for your information, New York personal injury lawyers offer free case reviews so that you are aware of your rights after an accident.
New York Car Accidents in the Year 2020
It is alarming to note that even during the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of street accidents had not come down. Despite the shutdown, 2644 people were either killed or injured in just a single month. That apart, the month of June in itself registered a figure of 7,456 car accidents. The following numbers indicate that pedestrians and bicyclists too were subjected to a similar fate as those that were driving cars. These data are accessed from the New York Police Department (NYPD).
For instance, 1,581 motorists were injured, while 14,690 got involved in crashes in New York accidents. Among 956 vehicle passengers, 951 faced severe injury. Then 580, among 581 bicyclists had faced accidents. And out of 408 pedestrians, 399 wounded.
According to the NYPD, June 2019 had registered 19,356 motor vehicle accidents, in comparison to the COVID lockdown in 2020. Among those, 4,180 had led to fatal injuries. These are shocking statistics and also indicate that driver negligence is a major reason behind most of the New York accidents, lockdown or not. The main causes for car accidents in both 2019 and 20 were driving negligence and following too closely.
The Utility of Seat Belts in the Context of Accidents with Big Trucks
Wearing seat belts can result in fewer injuries even if a car has faced an accident. A whopping 52% of car passengers involved in serious accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time of their crash and as a result, had fatal injuries. This was even lower while driving at night than day times.
In clashes where large trucks are involved, the other party to the accident generally tends to be more injured than the truck drivers. In all New York accidents, 3,964 persons had died in 2013 because of crashes with large trucks. Among these statistics about New York accidents, 71% of them were in passenger vehicles, 17% in trucks and the remaining 12% were pedestrians.
Why Are So Many Car Crashes in NYC?
Among several causes, NYPD has provided a monthly statistical analysis of the most common causes of car accidents in NYC. Some of them for June 2020 are:
- Driver distraction in 2,127 crashes
- Following too closely in 577 crashes
- Not going the right way in 484 crashes
- Improper passing in 311 crashes
- Speeding in 293 crashes
- Drunk driving or after taking drugs in 138 crashes
As written above, June 2019 had the highest number of accidents. There were 6,245 cases, of which the distraction of the driver and tailgating amounted to a figure of 2,226 cases.
NYPD does not claim cell phone usage to be one of the causes of car accidents. However, the use of smartphones and other devices does result in a significant “driver distraction” as a leading cause of accidents.
An important fact for you to remember is that New York is a no-fault insurance state. It means a car insurance policy is mandatory as that will reimburse you for medical bills and damages. Even if someone else and not you might have caused the accident.
When Do Most NYC Car Accidents Take Place?
Easily in one single month in NYC, an average of 19,000 car accidents occur. According to NYPD’s data, May is usually the month with the highest number of reported accidents. There were 20,551 cases in May, followed closely by 20,479 in June and 20,470 in October. The month with the fewest number of traffic crashes in 2018 was February, when there were only 15,680 reported crashes.
Car Accidents Following Liquor Usage
Around 31% of all fatal motor accidents involve driver intoxication. Drunk driving is usually the most frequent among young adults. 23.4% of motorists between the ages of 21 and 25 report that they were driving while intoxicated in the past year. Every day, approximately 28 people die in drunk driving collisions, and this costs the country $199 billion every year.
Accidents Involving Bicyclists
NYC has gone to a great extent in making roads a little bit safer for bicyclists. Despite it, each year, there is a significant number of bike accidents in the city. In 2018, there were 4,289 bike accidents, which means roughly 2% of all traffic accidents in the city involve a bicyclist.
Any guesses about the most dangerous boroughs for the riders in NYC? It’s none other than Brooklyn. It accounts for more than 40% of all NYC bicycle accidents. The remaining 60% of bike accidents spread out throughout the other boroughs:
- Manhattan: 1,253 bike accidents, or 29.2%
- Queens: 795 bike accidents, or 18.5%
- Bronx: 463 bike accidents, or 10.8%
- Staten Island: 61 bike accidents, or 1.4%
Traffic Accidents Involving Pedestrians
The most vulnerable population to sustain injury or death in an accident are pedestrians. And unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are the most common in NYC. According to crash data, pedestrians account for a quarter of all traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the city.
Legal Requirements after an Accident
Here’s what you must and should do if you get involved in a collision with any object or person while driving:
First, please stop to see if anyone is injured or if there is any damage. Then, share your contact and insurance information with the other driver. Don’t forget to get their contact along with the information about their insurance. Finally, dial 911 or your local police dispatch if someone is injured, killed, or if there is damage totaling more than $1,500. Wait for an officer to arrive and to file a report.
How to File an Accident Report?
Trust us when we say that you will not want to be charged with a hit-and-run in NYC. It is not only expensive but entails other problems. Hence, it is important to know the process of filing an accident report.
New York requires a report to be filed with the DMV within ten days if there is any property damage amounting to more than $1,000 because of an accident. It includes not just damage rendered to the other vehicles, but also your car. Some of the important steps to remember in this respect are:
In case of property damage – please provide your driver’s license, insurance, and registration information to the other driver. In case of Parked vehicles or other property damage, or if a domestic animal is injured then, if you are unable to locate the owner, please definitely contact the police. If property damage is $1,000 or more, then each involved driver must file a Report of the Motor Vehicle accident to the DMV. If there’s an injury or fatality, then you must notify the police immediately. It is important that the drivers and the police file a report with the DMV.
What Are The Penalties for a Hit-And-Run Case in NYC?
Trust us. The penalties are high! If you leave the scene of an accident that has entailed injuries in New York without following any of the recommended steps above, you can be criminally charged. And receive a sentence of up to 1 year in jail. If there are serious injuries or a fatality, then they can be sentenced to up to 7 years. Hence, do not ignore the steps needed to follow if you get entangled in an accident.
Is There a Defense Possible for a Hit-And-Run Accident?
It is possible in either of these two cases. Some hit-and-run defendants might argue that they were genuinely unaware of hitting another vehicle or person, or that they believed there was no damage. The other possibility is if the other driver involved in the accident along with the offender agree upon the fact that there was no damage. If they tell the at-fault driver not to worry about it or that it is nothing, only then can the driver leave without providing contact or insurance information. It might also serve as a valid defense.
What do you do if The Driver Gives False Information?
If you’re in an accident, ask to see the driver’s license, registration, and insurance card and click photos of the IDs as proof. Even if the damage is so minor that you don’t think you’ll pursue a claim, it is good to have this information. Later you may discover that the damage is more than it initially appeared.