Traffic accidents continue to pose a major safety threat in New York and across the country. In fact, they are the top cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 29. Because of the high toll taken by car accidents, reducing collisions and increasing safety is a primary target for regulators and the auto industry. Many people are hopeful about the potential for autonomous cars to minimize the danger posed by collisions.
A 39-year-old New York woman was killed in a car accident on Feb. 1 as she drove her 7-year-old son back to their home after they left a family birthday party. Her car crashed into a tree alongside Meadowbrook Parkway in North Merrick after another driver rammed into the back of her car, forcing the nurse off the road. A 26-year-old woman, the driver of the other vehicle, was arrested and charged. According to police, she was speeding before the crash.
When people are convicted of drunk driving, they may be mandated to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. These machines are a form of an in-car breath test that requires drivers to blow into them before they can start their vehicles. Some urge that they may be used even by people with a clean driving record. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed ignition interlocks, saying that people are 70% less likely to repeat drunk driving behavior if the devices are installed.
Alcohol detection technology is beginning to show signs of success when it comes to preventing drunk driving. Drivers in New York should be aware that drunk driving crashes claim the lives of some 30 people every day in this country. However, if a certain bill is passed, it may help to reverse this trend. In fact, lawmakers say it could save 7,000 lives a year.
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.