Motorists who regularly commute to work or school inevitably begin to remember specific details about their daily route. Areas where traffic tends to get congested, potholes, blind curves, and many other features of the road are important pieces of information drivers use to arrive at a destination safely and in a timely manner.
Now, new records released by the New York Department of Transportation reveal that State road and highway authorities take a similarly detailed approach to examining overall traffic patterns throughout New York. A new report reveals that the DOT keeps detailed records about problematic areas throughout New York State and uses this information to predict where expected accident rates may be higher than normal. This information can be extremely important in order to increase driver safety measures. These “priority investigation locations” show the DOT where extreme changes may need to be made in order to make certain roads and highways safer and more accessible to motorists.
One of the most interesting pieces of information to come out of this report is the fact that the Hudson Valley is home to some of the most dangerous roads in the entire state. One area in particular, located in Putnam County, is of special interest to the DOT because its poor design and layout may be responsible for hundreds of traffic accident every year.
The I-84 on-ramp off of I-684 in Putnam County is estimated to have an accident rate 5x higher than the predicted rate for a road of that size. This 10 mile stretch of highway carries an average of 61,000 vehicles every day, and has experienced over 140 accidents in the last two years alone. Authorities believe that congestion on the on-ramp and long wait times are causing motorists to drive more aggressively and attempt to cut in front of other cars.
This I-84 on-ramp was last resurfaced in 2011 to prevent cars and trucks from slipping as they travelled around the curve. Now, the DOT plans to rebuild and widen this on-ramp in order to ease congestion. It is precisely this type of insight that authorities hope to gather from this accident data.
Unfortunately, many accidents cannot be blamed solely on congestion and poor road design.
Driver distraction and inattention still remains a major problem in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State. In April of this year, Fellows Hymowitz Rice detailed a recent study that indicated that drivers in Westchester County, NY are some of the worst offenders of distracted driving in the entire country. This data from the NYDOT seems to confirm the findings of this study, as it indicates that driver inattention can account as a factor in nearly half of the traffic crashes in high-accidents segments of the Lower Hudson Valley.
50% of crashes caused by driver distraction and inattention is an absolutely staggering figure, and illustrates that drivers are still far too concerned with their cell phones or mobile devices, and not nearly focused enough on the road or their surroundings. Distracted driving is not only dangerous, it is also a serious offense in New York.
Fines for a first distracted driving offense can be as high as $200, and may be accompanied by a driver’s license suspension of up to 120 days. For second and third offenses, the fine can increase to as much as $450, and the accompanying license suspension can last up to a year.
At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, New York and New Jersey Accident and Personal Injury law firm, we have witnessed far too many victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers that were either distracted, negligent, or intoxicated. The victims and their families in these accidents deserve better than to be hurt or even killed by a driver who did not take their obligation to keep their eyes on the road seriously enough.
Help Fellows Hymowitz Rice spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Keep your phone in your pocket or on silent until you arrive at your destination, and if you are the parent of a young driver, make it clear that whatever message or call they might be tempted to take while behind the wheel, it can always wait.
If our or a loved one has been a victim of a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver, call Fellows Hymowitz Rice today at 845-639-9300. When you call our firm, you will speak with an experienced New York and New Jersey Personal Injury lawyer for FREE. There is no-obligation, and you will never pay an attorney’s fee unless we achieve a recovery for you.
Trust Fellows Hymowitz Rice to help provide the answers you seek in your serious personal injury case.
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