In New York, it's common for drivers to come in contact with aggressive drivers. Oftentimes, these same drivers become aggressive themselves. Rather than honking horns, flashing headlights, and making hand gestures, motorists should consider what many experts recommend they do.
Improved vehicle safety technologies are making roads safer in New York and across the U.S., according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The organization found that death rates involving late-model vehicles fell by more than a third between 2009 and 2012.
New York drivers may be more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident since they are on the rise. In 2015, fatalities from traffic accidents nationwide increased 8 percent after years of being on the decline. In 2016, they topped 40,000.
Getting behind the wheel in New York can mean facing an array of dangers on the roadways, some of them accentuated by recent social trends. Distracted driving due to texting or social media use on the road is one major concern. Another concern that has risen is driving while under the influence of marijuana, especially because there is no recognized standard for intoxication as there is for drunk driving. One study conducted by Harris Poll has found that a great majority of Americans view these behaviors as dangerous with nearly everyone seeing texting while driving as a massive safety risk on the road.
Drivers in New York know that car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. For people with certain medical conditions, taking medication could make driving safer. This point is illustrated by a recent study of crash rates among drivers who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The study found that ADHD patients who take medication for the condition may have a significantly lower rate of car accidents than those who do not take medication.
Workers in New York who are heading home after an all-night shift face an increased risk of car accidents. The culprit? Drowsy driving. A team of medical researchers studied the driving abilities of a group of night shift workers on a closed driving track. The research subjects navigated the course after getting roughly seven hours of sleep and then again after working all night.
New Yorkers who have small cars may enjoy better gas mileage, but they also have higher risks of being seriously injured or killed when they are involved in collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, people who are in small cars have twice the risk of being killed in accidents when they are compared with people who are in larger, heavier vehicles such as trucks or SUVs.
There are several reasons why driving during the evening and nighttime hours is more dangerous in New York and around the country. Municipalities eager to avoid rush hour traffic congestion often schedule road construction and repair crews to work at night, and drunk drivers are a persistent danger in the late night and early morning hours. Government accident data shows that the chances of being killed in a car accident are three times higher at night, but there are steps that motorists can take to reduce these risks.
Little is said about attorneys or organizations that work to free people falsely accused of (and convicted of) crimes that they did not commit. People only seem to know about them when a person is freed from death row or are released from prison after decades of incarceration. While these stories are still more of the exception than the rule, more people are being exonerated after being found innocent despite being prosecuted.