Aggressive Driving Remains a Serious Problem in New York City
New York City has long held a reputation for its aggressive and angry drivers, but does that translate into more car crashes? A recent report released by Allstate Insurance Company suggests yes, it does.
Allstate ranked the nation’s 200 largest cities in motorist safety and New York City was among the worst, claiming an unimpressive spot at 171st on the list. NYC motorists average an auto accident every 7.3 years, nearly 38 percent higher than the national average.
Since Allstate began its rankings in 2005, New York City has never come close to cracking the top 100. NYC’s best finish came in 2008, when it landed at 122. Since then, the City has performed worse each year. While the news is disheartening, it isn’t surprising.
The Empire of Aggressive Driving
New York ranks first in angry and aggressive driving, according to a 2009 Reuters news poll. The poll quizzed participants about the frequency in which they witnessed road rage, tailgating, speeding, angry horn-honking and the use of unfriendly hand gestures. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, aggressive driving causes more than just high blood pressure.
More than half of all fatal auto accidents involve aggressive driving, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The problem is serious: hot-headed drivers risk the lives of other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians when they lose their temper.
Common Causes of Road Rage
There appears to be an undeniable link between aggressive driving and car accidents, but why are New York motorists so angry behind the wheel? The answer probably has less to do with the drivers themselves and more to do with the NYC driving environment.
According to one study, some of the factors contributing to angry driving include:
- Noise: The louder the environment, the greater likelihood of aggressive response to frustration.
- Overcrowding: Slow-moving and stationary traffic can quickly decrease a driver’s patience.
- Temperature: Extreme heat makes it harder for drivers to “keep their cool,” especially in areas of high traffic congestion.
While NYC may provide an environment that is less-than-ideal for controlling one’s emotions behind the wheel, each driver is responsible for how they decide to handle frustration.
Accountability in Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive driving puts innocent people in harm’s way; it is an act of negligence. When someone’s careless or reckless behavior injures you or a family member, you can hold them accountable for the harm caused.
Some of the damages recoverable in New York car accidents include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
In instances where a crash causes the wrongful death of a loved one, New York law permits family members to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Evidence in Auto Accident Lawsuits
When you need to prove that another person’s negligent driving caused your injuries, the preservation of evidence is crucial. An independent crash investigation is often necessary, as insurance companies often try to minimize or avoid a payout. Never rely on an insurer’s investigation, as they do not represent your interests.
An experienced New York car accident lawyer knows how to conduct a detailed accident investigation and preserve important evidence. A lawyer works as your advocate, representing your interests.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact a NY City car crash attorney to discuss your legal rights to compensation.