Pedestrian deaths in New York and around the country have reached levels last seen 30 years ago, and most road safety experts believe that an epidemic of cellphone use by drivers is the reason why. In April 2019, the driving data company Zendrive published its third annual report on distracted driving in the United States, and the figures suggest that about one out of every 12 motorists finds it impossible to look away from their smartphones even when traveling at highway speeds. This is particularly dangerous as vehicles traveling at 50 mph cover hundreds of yards every few seconds.
Drowsy driving continues to be a deadly hazard in New York and across the country. In fact, federal statistics show that as many as 6,000 Americans are killed in fatigue-related crashes every year.
The winters in New York can lead to motor vehicle accidents. Ice and snow on the road, after all, cause tires to lose traction and make it more likely for a car to spin out of control. While motorists cannot keep out of all accidents, they can at least practice safe driving themselves. This is assuming that they go out on the road only when absolutely necessary.
New York residents might be surprised to learn that while roads are becoming safer for drivers, they are actually more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. According to the statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the year 2018, these trends are a concern.
After testing the front passenger side safety of several new pickups, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that passengers in these vehicles run a higher risk of injury and death than the drivers do in the event of a crash. Pickup owners in New York should know that the IIHS has been conducting driver-side small overlap frontal crash tests since 2012, adding tests for the passenger side in 2017.
The weather in New York can be highly unpredictable in the fall. A balmy morning can turn into a frigid afternoon, dense patches of fog often cling to the roads well into the morning and clear skies can quickly become darkened by heavy rain clouds. Rapidly changing weather conditions can make driving more hazardous at any time of the year, but sudden storms and fluctuating temperatures can be particularly perilous in the fall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that drunk driving kills over 10,000 people every year in New York and the rest of the U.S. Every day, about 30 people in this country are dying in drunk driving crashes. It's important to understand, then, what kind of effect alcohol can have on drivers.
Millennials in New York and across the U.S. are more likely than other age groups to use their cellphones while driving, according to a recent multi-national study. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Liberty Mutual, surveyed approximately 8,000 drivers in the U.S. and Western Europe about their driving behaviors.
Drivers in New York may feel compelled in some cases to drive even when they are tired. It should be kept in mind, though, that drowsy driving is a serious issue and can lead to crashes. According to a 2018 AAA study, some 9.5% of all crashes are caused by drowsy drivers.
As early as 2011, automotive safety advocates began noting a worrisome trend that drivers in New York should be aware of -- women are more likely than men to be seriously injured in a car crash. At that time, advocates put the blame on seat belts. It turns out that most women harmed in crashes are short in statute and that other factors, including seating posture, prevent them from getting the best protection from their seat belts.