A total of 307,550 vehicle crashes happened in New York state in 2011, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Not all of these collisions involved cars. New York residents, especially those who live in the crowded, fast-paced environment of New York City, are also injured in motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents and pedestrian accidents. Our law firm has years of experience helping New Yorkers who were injured in car accidents and other vehicle accidents.
Driving a car has risks, but driving a motorcycle presents unique dangers that make motorcyclists more susceptible to a fatal accident. In an urban environment, people riding a motorcycle, vespa or scooter have to beware of potholes, slick pavement and unpredictable drivers. Because of their smaller, thinner profile, motorcyclists are often missed by other drivers. In fact, 75 percent of motorcycle accidents with another vehicle involve the other vehicle failing to see them. Statistics from the New York State DMV show that there were 5,336 motorcycle crashes in New York in 2011, of which 168 were fatal. Data also shows that motorcycle accidents occurred most often on a Saturday. In 2011, 1,012 crashes happened on a Saturday; most accidents occurred between noon and 6pm. According to Forbes, motorcyclists and other drivers of small motorbikes can reduce the risk of an accident by avoiding riding in blind spots, having the best safety gear they can afford, and avoiding places where lanes merge or diverge.
Trucks are important vehicles in New York City. They are vital to supplying a variety of goods to millions of people every day. In 2010, professors at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that there were over 5 million trucks within 100 miles of New York City making nearly 257,000 deliveries every day in the five boroughs. More than 40 percent of those stops were in Manhattan. Trucks are, without a doubt, an essential part of New York’s economy, but unfortunately they are also the cause of some deadly accidents. Data from the New York State DMV showed that there was a total of 11,648 crashes involving large trucks in 2011, leading to 89 deaths and nearly 4,000 injuries. That year, truck crashes happened most frequently on a Tuesday, with a total of 2,188 accidents. Friday was next most frequent, with 2,136 crashes in 2011.
Accidents involving large, multi-passenger vehicles can be catastrophic, especially in a densely packed city like New York. One bus accident in March 2011 illustrates the traumatic consequences of such an event. A tour bus traveling at high speed overturned on Interstate 95 as it was about to cross the border into the Bronx from Westchester. The bus accident caused 14 deaths and 19 injuries, five of them critical. The New York Times reported gruesome details, including reports of one person decapitated; others were maimed or trapped in metal. The NHTSA FARS database shows that in 2011 there were 15 bus accident fatalities in 2011; four involved a school bus; five, a cross country/intercity bus; two, a transit bus; three, a van-based bus; and one, unknown. In 2010, there were 22 bus fatalities, 11 involving a transit bus.
Pedestrians may be the most vulnerable victims of a vehicle accident. With over 19.5 million New York state residents, including 8.2 million people living in New York City’s five boroughs alone, it is easy to see how pedestrians can get injured or killed by a negligent driver. Data from the New York State DMV shows that motor vehicle crashes killed 296 New York pedestrians in 2011. That same year, 15,689 pedestrians were injured in a motor vehicle accident.