Driving on city highways increases the chances of suffering a motor vehicle accident. There are many factors that make freeways more difficult to drive: heavy traffic, traffic jams, diverse road and weather conditions, dangerous stretches of the freeway, distracted and impaired drivers, etc. A study found that three places on Highway 95 (1-95) in New York City are among the most dangerous in the United States. Two of them span Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, and another in the Bronx.
The Washington Heights side of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, where the highway intersects Harlem River Drive, is the most dangerous of the three locations. 208 accidents occurred in 2019, the second-highest number of locations in the United States. The Bronx side of the bridge, where the highway intersects Sedgwick Avenue, 142 accidents occurred last year, ranking fifth on the most dangerous list. Likewise, 132 accidents happened at the crossing of the George Washington Bridge and Riverside Drive in 2019, ranking seventh.
Overall, the number of accidents increased by 6.8% between 2018 and 2019, although some specific cities saw a decrease. The BQE freeway, in particular, has steadily been on the decline, though collisions still remain common in the borough of Queens. New York does not appear among the 10 cities with the most accidents in 2019. In that ranking, Houston ranks first. Nevertheless, below are the most common causes of these accidents in New York City and the United States.
- Drinking and Driving: All states have laws that prohibit driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. If the offense is labeled “DUI,” “DWI” (driving under the influence) or “OUI” (operating under the influence), the consequences are generally severe. Although per New York state specifications, penalties often include license suspension, fines and fees, installation of ignition interlock device (IID), and length of incarceration.
- Distracted driving: This has been recognized as a serious problem by legislators, resulting in many states banning the use of cell phones while driving, adopting hands-free rules only, or taking other measures to curb cell phone use during driving. People who are found to engage in distracted driving can face several serious consequences. Some types of distracted driving are visual in nature. These activities take the driver’s eyes off the road. Others are manual in nature, meaning they take the driver’s hands off the wheel. Other activities are cognitive; And those are just a few things that can make you lose concentration and cause accidents.
- Product defect: Mechanical failures are within the possibilities that can cause accidents. Tires in poor condition, brakes in their maximum wear, and in general, a vehicle that does not present the minimum safety conditions has a high risk of accident.
- Bad weather: Weather acts through impaired visibility, rainfall, high winds, and extreme temperatures to affect driver ability, vehicle performance (i.e. traction, stability and maneuverability), pavement friction, road infrastructure, accident risk, traffic flow.
- Bad road conditions: While there are a variety of causes for car accidents in New York, dangerous road conditions are also a major contributor. Bad road conditions can be the result of natural events, such as tropical rains and floods, that make driving unsafe. Dangerous conditions can also arise from the poor physical condition of a road and its surroundings.
Driver Inexperience: This can be a key factor that causes an accident. Many people venture to drive a vehicle without the proper instructions to do so, and, therefore, can cause accidents that cause damage to vehicles to death. Not knowing how to handle a vehicle correctly is a high risk of traffic accidents throughout the world. Driving without knowing how to do it correctly, many times implies being more prone to making certain mistakes that an experienced and more prudent driver would not happen to you.