Causes of Car Accidents in New York, NY

New York Attorneys help determine causes of car accidents

The most common causes of car collisions and accidents can be traced to the actions of drivers themselves, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In other words, most car accidents are caused by driver error or negligence.

In New York City, there were more than 37,000 collisions that caused injury or deaths in 2014, according to the New York Police Department. The traffic accidents caused injuries to more than 35,000 drivers and passengers, nearly 11,000 pedestrians, and 3,900 cyclists.

Injuries in New York Traffic Accidents in 2014









Source: NYPD Collision Reports

Among the leading causes of car accidents as recorded by NYC police are:

Driver distraction and inattention
  • Driver Inattention/Distraction. Distracted driving is a serious danger on roads across New York State and the country that has been made much worse in recent years by the popularity of cell phones and similar electronic devices, plus texting, email, and social media. Anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the road is dangerous, but texting while driving takes about five seconds on average, enough time to cover 100 yards at 55 mph or to almost certainly cause a collision in city traffic.
Tailgating - Causes of car accidents
  • Following Too Closely/Tailgating. Following too closely leaves too little time to react to a car that stops suddenly or slows its speed markedly. This leads to many rear-end collisions, the most common type of car accident. Besides being unsafe, riding the bumper of the vehicle in front of you is a form of aggressive driving, which can provoke a violent reaction known as “road rage.”
  • Speeding/Unsafe Speed. Speeding and driving too fast for conditions, such as in fog, icy conditions, or heavy traffic are leading causes of car accidents. Speeding makes it harder to stop or take evasive action to avoid an accident. Speeding also increases the force of impact in a collision, which leads to more significant injuries.
driving under the influence - drunk driver
  • Drunk Drugged Driving. Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications, continues to be cause of many preventable accidents. In a large city with widely available public transportation, impaired driving is less of a threat, but “alcohol involvement,” “Drugs (Illegal)” and “Prescription Medication” were cited in 187 fatal and injury wrecks in NYC in a single recent month.
drowsy driving
  • Fatigue/Drowsy Driving. NYC police recorded more than 80 accidents in which a driver was fatigued or drowsy, fell asleep, or lost consciousness and someone was injured or killed in the accident that followed. A driver who is sleepy, fatigued, or drowsy has slower reaction time and a diminished capacity for making the sound judgments required for safe driving.

In addition to these causes, hundreds of car accidents are caused by various types of reckless driving alone or in combination, including:

  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Backing improperly
  • Improper passing or lane usage
  • Passing too closely
  • Turning improperly
  • Disregarding traffic controls (stoplights, stop signs)

In other cases, car accidents happen because an auto part or component, such as tires, brakes, airbags, ignition switch, or other part is defective or has failed. In some cases, it is the roadway that causes an accident because it has not been properly maintained, was designed poorly, or because a work zone has been set up in a dangerous manner.

In these cases, a “third party” other than either driver in the wreck may be held liable, such as an automotive manufacturer, government, or contractor responsible for local roadways.

Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?

Regardless of the cause of your motor vehicle accident, if you were in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to obtain compensation for serious injuries and other losses. Your New York personal injury protection no fault insurance policy will cover minor injuries up to certain limits, regardless of who is at fault.

An experienced New York car accident attorney can take the correct steps to protect your right to compensation and make sure those who have unjustly harmed you are held accountable. Depending upon what occurred, the driver of a third party at fault for your accident may be compelled through legal action to pay you for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses (in a wrongful death)

The experienced and skilled attorneys at our firm have more than 75 years of combined experience helping accident victims. When you have been involved in a car accident, we will stand up for you.

Contact Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys

When a car accident affects your life, the trauma and financial burdens can take a toll on your life. We may be able to offer the help you desperately need. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our firm was created by attorneys who have enjoyed success at the largest and most profitable firms in New York. Our goal is to provide the personal attention that larger firms do not.

When you contact our firm, you can be assured that we will provide the personal attention you need to get you through the trauma of a car accident. In addition, our firm is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the highest possible cash award or settlement offer.

Additional Information: