When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Vision Zero program in 2014, he said the goal of the initiative was to eliminate all traffic accident deaths and serious injuries within 10 years. De Blasio now admits that the program is facing a crisis, but he insists that its ultimate objective remains achievable. Total traffic fatalities in the city are up by 15% in 2019, and the pedestrian death toll is even more worrying. Pedestrian deaths in New York City increased alarmingly in 2018, and they are on pace to rise even further in 2019.
Drivers in New York may be surprised to hear that women run a higher risk for car accident injuries than men. For a study published in July's edition of Traffic Injury Prevention, researchers looked at some 22,000 front-end crashes. They found that women were 73% more likely to be hurt in these types of collisions. Not only that, females were also twice as likely to suffer spine, abdomen and leg injuries.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are preventing crashes, especially ones with other vehicles and with pedestrians. A 2018 study from J.D. Power shows that new car owners are largely satisfied with the performance of these devices. New York motorists should know that more than half of the respondents said that ADAS helped prevent a crash for them within the first 90 days of having their vehicle.
In New York and across the U.S., drowsy driving is becoming an epidemic. In a AAA survey, nearly one-third of respondents said that at least once in the past month, they drove while having trouble keeping their eyes open. Many drivers are not getting the seven hours of sleep every night that the CDC recommends, and some may have a disorder like obstructive sleep apnea that makes them tired even when they get seven hours.
Car accidents in New York can be devastating and may cause people to sustain catastrophic injuries and even die as a result. Many factors, from increased distraction due to smartphones to outdoor weather conditions, can combine to make driving on the roadways a more dangerous experience. One study revealed that even light rainfall can significantly increase the risk for a dangerous or fatal crash. Rain, snow and ice can make roadway fatalities 34% more likely, according to a study from the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Drivers in New York and across the U.S. are distracting themselves behind the wheel, even when they know it is wrong. Moreover, they tend to criticize others for the same reckless behavior they themselves engage in. This was the conclusion of Root Insurance's second annual distracted driving study.
With daylight saving time comes the loss of one hour of sleep. While most people in New York may only feel inconvenienced by it, they should know that the resulting drowsiness can make a difference on the road. Everyone needs at least seven hours of rest. Drivers who miss one to two hours of rest in the previous 24 hours will nearly double their chances of a car accident.
Many New York residents worry about the impact of the opioid epidemic, from growing rates of addiction to the threat of deadly overdoses. One area where opiates may also have an impact on safety is on the roadway. A study examined fatal two-car accidents across the country and discovered that drivers held responsible for causing these crashes were almost twice as likely to have prescription opiate medications in their system at the time as the driver of the other vehicle.
There are a several common factors in New York car accidents. Human error is behind many, especially distracted driving. This has become a widespread issue with more and more drivers using their smartphones behind the wheel. Virtually anything, though, from talking to passengers to eating, can become a distraction. Another factor is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
While widespread public campaigns have informed New York drivers of the dangers of using their smartphones behind the wheel, distraction continues to pose a serious threat on the roads. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report comparing surveys observing drivers in 2014 and 2018 for signs of distraction while driving or stopped at red lights. They found that the overall rate of distracted driving appears to be roughly the same four years apart, but the type of distractions may vary considerably. In addition, mobile phones aren't the only issue diverting drivers' eyes and minds from the roads ahead.