New York city, with its heavy traffic flow and large population, accounts for a large number of car crashes and fatal accidents in the US. According to the New York DMV, in 2013 there was a total of 304,804 car crashes across the state, of which 1109 were fatal resulting in the deaths of 1188 people involved in the crashes. This is a significant proportion of the national figures for the same year – there were an estimated 35,200 traffic deaths reported in the US in 2013.
More than 8000 of the total crashes in the state of New York were alcohol-related, while 29,178 were speed-related and 15,892 involved pedestrians. Driver distraction was the cause of a whopping 19.2 percent of these crashes, involving 49,781 incidents. Fatigue was the cause of 0.5 percent crashes, while 1.2 percent drivers fell asleep at the wheel and caused an accident. Clearly, these numbers suggest that fatigue and driver distraction can cause major road safety issues. Recent surveys and studies have brought up some new concerns with respect to these behaviors and attitudes, along with some solutions.
Accident lawyers deal with driver distraction frequently
Texting is a major cause of many accidents, every accident lawyer will tell you. Nearly every motorist also knows that texting is dangerous, but they continue to do it anyway. More than 9 people are killed each year in the US because of distracted drivers, and over 1153 people are injured for the same reason, according to Center for Disease Control data. Texting is a major cause of this distraction. A telephonic survey of 1004 adults in the US, released by AT&T Inc. in 2014 revealed that 98% of motorists know that texting is dangerous, but despite state laws, three-fourth of them admitted to engaging in this potentially disastrous behavior.
A new free app called DriveMode for Android, Blackberry, and iPhone will silence text messages automatically when it senses that the drivers are moving 15 mph or faster. This app should help people to help themselves, which is the only way to avoid text-related distractions amongst a section of the population that doesn’t think twice about taking chances on the road.
Many fatigue-related crashes go unreported
In another recent enlightening study, this time by the AAA, it was found that fatigue-related driving causes over 21% of all fatal accidents. There is a discrepancy between the report’s figures and research statistics from three years ago by the National Highway Safety Administration, which reported that drowsy driving was involved in around 2.5% of all car crashes that are fatal. This vast difference is the result of many drivers not realizing that they were fatigued while driving, say the AAA. There is clearly an indication that many drivers tend to overestimate their ability to control fatigue and drowsiness when they’re behind the wheel. There also seems to be a tendency to underestimate the dangers of drowsy driving.
A way to combat the problem is technology that many automakers are funding research and development into. These include apps that measure the drowsiness levels of drivers and warn them when their vehicle begins to wander from the road.
While the majority of car crashes, at least according to the most recent reports in New York state, are caused by tailgating, failure to read right of way, unsafe speeding, backing unsafely and generally disregarding traffic rules, driver distraction and drowsiness are clearly issues that need attention. If you are involved in a car crash that was caused by texting or fatigue, you will need to know the laws in your state that govern such behaviors, in order to get a chance to change your behaviors without facing heavy penalties. A New York accident lawyer will be able to keep your interests in mind and make sure that you can protect your rights.