Long Island Causes of Car Accidents
We all know that life on Long Island is good. We live here, we’ve chosen to build our business here, and we love it here.
Our community is important to us, we want you to be safe on the road, but it’s no secret that Nassau and Suffolk counties have their fair share of Long Island car accidents.
Car Accidents: The Basics
In the United States alone, 37,000 people die in car accidents every year. Globally, that number rings in at about 1.24 million. Sadly, the leading cause of this astronomical number of car accidents is incredibly avoidable; distracted driving.
From talking on the phone and texting, paying more attention to children than the road, and eating, there are plenty of opportunities for drivers worldwide to become preoccupied enough to cause an accident. Sometimes these accidents are a fender bending reality check, and sometimes they shatter lives.
While Florida and Tennessee have the highest number of car crashes annually, that certainly doesn’t’ mean we should drop our diligence on the road here in New York State. As a professional auto body shop that has been in the business for many years, we’ve seen the aftermath of hundreds of car accidents and know just the amount of damage that distracted driving can cause.
Predicting a Crash Pattern on Long Island
According to New York State, car crashes in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties are not only a strain financially, but the patterns are eerily predictable. In both counties, car crashes are the fourth-leading cause of injury-related deaths. This number is too high, especially when we take into consideration that it’s preventable.
Crashes on Nassau County roadways resulted in $96.8 million in hospital and emergency department charges in 2014, while in Suffolk County rang in at 137.1 million that same year. Statistical studies show that these crashes are not accidents but predictable patterns with recognizable risk factors among identifiable populations.
Common Causes of Car Crashes on Long Island
While the world sees distracted driving as one of the leading causes for car accidents, reports from Nassau and Suffolk county show a slightly different pattern. On Long Island, people were more likely to have medically diagnosed serious injuries, resulting in the highest car accident-related hospitalization charges due to alcohol and speeding.
In 2014, the most common medically diagnosed with severe injury car accident cases came back as alcohol-related for Suffolk and Nassau counties. These statistics are staggering and incredibly concerning because every single death and injury related to these crashes was 100% preventable.
It’s no secret that driving drunk is a volatile and dangerous choice. When we consume alcohol, our response time, reflexes, and eye function slow considerably. Each one of these bodily functions is incredibly important in the operation of a vehicle.
Many drunk driving accidents take place after a night out, so not only may the driver be suffering from blurred vision and perceptual changes, but it’s also dark out. This is a terrible combination, and the number of fatal car crashes that happen annually due to alcohol impairment does nothing but prove that point.
Using information from the same study, we’ve found vehicle speed to be the second most common crash-related injury per 100 people on Long Island. Plain and simple; speeding increases the risk of an accident.
Not only does speeding reduce the amount of time that a driver has to react to any situation other drivers may cause on the road (changing lanes without warning, etc.), but it impairs the driver protection equipment on the vehicle. Speeding has great potential to increase the severity of injuries suffered if a car accident should take place.
Like driving drunk, speeding puts everybody on the road in danger.
Running a Stop-Sign or Red Light
Good things rarely come from running a stop sign or a red light or refusing to yield to traffic signs. In 2013, more than 697 people were killed, and 127,000 were injured nationwide in vehicle accidents that involved a red light alone.
As you can see, running a red light has the potential to turn out much more deadly than most people think. Since this is a significant issue when it comes to accidents on Long Island, we need to point out that running a red light is disregarding the rules of the road.
Those regulations are in place to keep us safe and allow the pattern of traffic to flow correctly while lowering the risk of accidents. If the light is red, you’ve got to stop, period.
Following Too Closely
Following too closely is a topic covered extensively in any driving school or five-hour course because tailgating is a frequent cause of accidents everywhere. When you follow too closely in your vehicle, the chances of rear-ending the car in front of you rise astronomically.
The chances of following too closely ending in a bout of erratic driving and road rage are common because it’s infuriating. When you receive a driver’s license, you agree to respect your fellow drivers. Please do so by giving them the space they require and allowing them to travel at the speed they are comfortable until it’s safe for you to pass them.
We’ve touched on this a bit earlier in the article, but distracted driving has become more commonplace as our dependency on technology has exploded. We are consistently glued to our phones, and based on the accidents reported on Long Island due to distracted driving; it’s time we put the electronics down and keep our eyes on the road.
Caused by any activity that takes your attention off the road, distracted driving increases your risk of significant injury or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under twenty have the highest proportion of fatal crashes due to distracted driving, while nearly half of all U.S. high school students over the age of 16 text or email while driving.
The statistics are staggering.
Driving in the Wrong Direction
Even when alcohol isn’t a factor, road signs, especially on Long Island, can be utterly confusing. Since the yearly average of people killed in the U.S. due to drivers heading the wrong way while driving is around 400, we must stay vigilant and pay attention to where the road leads.
From intersections to highway onramps, there remains the potential for plenty of confusion. Keep distractions at bay, and a keen eye on other drivers as well.
Driving Behaviors that Identify Crash Patterns in Long Island
A majority of car crashes result from a preventable pattern due to risky behaviors on the road. This statistic remains true on Long Island, in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk.
In Nassau County, vehicle occupants that did not use seatbelts or approved child-restraint seats were five times more likely to require hospitalization, while the numbers came in at four times more likely in Suffolk. Failure to use restraint devices cost Nassau residents $5,600 more in hospital charges in 2014 than those who buckled up, and a shocking $34,400 more in Suffolk.
Lacking a seatbelt in the event of a crash made victims in Nassau four times more likely to suffer Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and three times more likely in Suffolk to suffer the same. Overall, not using a seatbelt in Nassau caused drivers involved in an accident to be seven times more likely to suffer severe injury, while Suffolk drivers came in at five times more likely.
Staying Safe on the RoadS OF Long Island
Reducing the number of risky behaviors we engage in while driving will keep Long Island a safer place to drive. We need to remember that we are responsible for more than just our own life when we get behind a wheel.
If the unthinkable happens, TLC Auto & Truck Repair Service Center is here to help get you back into your car as soon as possible. Stay safe out there.
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