Self-driving automobiles are still rare on New York roads, but they are becoming increasingly common. Even vehicles that don't have complete self-driving functions have limited ones, such as the ability to park automatically. Along with changing the way that people drive, cars that are driven by computer software may also change the way that insurance claims and lawsuits are handled as well as creating a few new risks that aren't associated with standard vehicles.
Deaths caused by vehicle accidents have increased remarkably since 2014, according to a report by the National Safety Council. New York drivers should be aware of what these reports mean for road safety. These estimates released by the National Safety Council indicate that traffic deaths have increased by 6 percent since 2015 and 14 percent since 2014. Car accidents in 2016 cost around $432.5 billion, and this figure includes injuries, deaths and property damage. The advocacy group is calling for stricter regulations as a result.
According to a study by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, New York is somewhere the middle among states regarding traffic safety laws. The organization examined traffic laws throughout the country and found 376 laws that it said should be adopted by all states. Those laws dealt with safety issues involving seat belt use, motorcycle helmet use, texting and driving, teen driving, child safety and impaired driving among other topics.
A car accident that occurred in New York left one person dead and three people critically injured on Jan. 5. Authorities stated that the accident took place in the Bronx at about 9 p.m. when a Camry drove into oncoming traffic, striking two other vehicles.
On Dec. 26, a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in front of a New York pizzeria resulted in the death of a woman and left another person with serious injuries. According to the report, the accident took place near the intersection of Larkfield Road and Fifth Avenue in East Northport and involved at least four vehicles.
New Yorkers should avoid driving unless they have had seven or more hours of sleep, according to research. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that it is twice as likely that drivers who sleep only five or six hours will be involved in an accident than those who have gotten the recommended amount. To reach this conclusion, the researchers examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. Drivers in accidents that involved a visit from emergency services or that resulted in a car being towed away were asked how much sleep they had in the previous 24 hours.
There were 32,675 Americans who died in car crashes in 2014, which is about 10,000 less than in 2004. Advanced safety features in cars as well as better road design are credited in part for this decline. Nationally, there are an average of 10.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Researchers say that accidents are more common on rural roads in New York and elsewhere because drivers tend to drive faster.
Three people were killed in a wrong-way driving accident that occurred just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 7. According to reports, an elderly man was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of New York State Route 481 before he collided head-on with another vehicle. The wrong-way driver and two occupants of the second vehicle died in the accident.
Anyone who lives in or who has visited New York City knows that traffic there can be heavy much of the time. The conditions can lead to aggressive driving. The definition of aggressive driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is one or more moving traffic offenses that endanger other people or their property.
New York drivers may have safer commutes in the decades ahead if a proposal by the Obama administration is successful. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a program that aims to end fatalities and injuries within 30 years. As part of its preliminary steps toward this goal, on Oct. 5 it said that it would begin focusing on encouraging seat belt use and discouraging drunk and distracted driving as well as expanding the use of rumble strips. A plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries was first proposed in 1997 in Sweden and has been adopted by other cities and countries in the years since.