A few years ago, the Allstate Insurance Company analyzed relevant auto claims from the country’s 200 most-populated cities. The Allstate report that followed ranked these cities, with Buffalo’s drivers recognized to be among “the worst drivers in New York’s biggest cities.”
It might be tempting to dismiss this startling statistic by attributing the challenging driving conditions to the rough Buffalo winter weather. But this would be an incorrect assumption because the study from Allstate adjusted the stats to account for precipitation. And, if they didn’t, New York’s second-largest city might have performed even worse.
If you work, live, or travel in the greater Buffalo area, you have likely seen or experienced this phenomenon of aggressive drivers who are always in a hurry. Unfortunately, car and motor vehicle accidents are too common in and around Nickel City, which is why when you least expect it, you may need a Buffalo car accident lawyer for legal guidance and representation.
Where Does Buffalo, NY, Rank on the List of U.S. Cities?
Of the 200 cities across the United States included in the crash data analysis, Buffalo ranked 148th in terms of driver safety. This study revealed that Buffalo drivers were in a car collision about every eight years. To provide some perspective, it is noted that the average American driver is likely to be involved in a car crash once each 18-year period. Essentially, a driver in Buffalo has more than twice the chance of being involved in a car crash than the average American driver.
But what makes the streets of Buffalo so dangerous to navigate safely?
The following lists the top reasons for car accidents in the greater Western New York metro area of Buffalo –
The Top Causes of Buffalo Car Accidents
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway – IIHS, in 2020, 29% of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. were attributed to speeding. And in the same year, more than 50% of these fatal car accidents happened on roads and streets with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or faster.
According to the New York State Governor’s website, speeding is often a primary cause that leads to severe crashes. In the Empire State, about 30% of all fatal crashes are caused by drivers exceeding posted speed limits.
Excessive speed is a two-fold dilemma for Buffalo drivers because –
- Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time. With less time to react, it becomes more likely that an accident will happen compared to a driver in a slower-moving vehicle.
- When an accident does happen, the increased velocity multiplies the force of the impact, and this increased intensity ultimately causes more damage and can even result in catastrophic injuries/fatalities.
Buffalo is world-renowned for its yearly lake effect snow totals, which average more than 95 inches per year. This impressive amount of snow is due to Buffalo’s unique location alongside Lake Erie near the top of the Niagara River.
Most people who grow up driving on Buffalo’s snowy roads know the importance of maintaining control of their vehicle in these conditions. But even experienced drivers will find they can be part of a collision caused by another driver who spins out of control when the roads become slick and dangerous.
Not driving appropriately in terrible weather conditions endangers every driver and passenger on the road.
Distracted driving is a viable threat to everyone on the road, especially those in high-risk cities like Buffalo. Driving distracted may include talking to passengers, blaring loud music, daydreaming, cell phone use, eating while driving, and even a phenomenon known as highway hypnosis.
According to the IIHS, approximately 6% of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2020 involved someone distracted while driving. And 12% of these distracted drivers were using their cell phones in some way. About 2/3 of distracted drivers were lost in thought or caught daydreaming.
When driving defensively, it is essential to proactively avoid driving distractions. This is easily accomplished by maintaining an intensified awareness of those things that may distract your focus on the road and traffic.
Driving Under the Influence (DUIs)
Drunk drivers in New York, according to the N.Y. State Police, are responsible for causing more than 17,000 fatalities every year. Drunk driving is defined as a driver who tests with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. More than 30% of fatal car accidents in New York are attributed to alcohol. That translates to –
- A DUI fatality every half hour.
- An injury occurs approximately every two minutes.
Buffalo, unfortunately, has had an extensive history of car accidents related to drivers who are Driving Under the Influence – which may include drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. And recently, statistics regarding Buffalo’s DUI accidents appear to show the city’s DUI rates are rising.
A study several years ago determined that Buffalo’s DUI fatalities increased dramatically over a three-year period, tripling to 2.17 fatalities per 100,000 residents. This DUI fatality statistic registers as the largest increase of all the large cities within the Empire State of New York.
And the city of Buffalo has the highest DUI crash rate in the western portion of New York.
In 2020, the NHTSA noted that there were 633 fatalities caused by drowsy drivers in the United States. Drowsy driving was ultimately responsible for 1.6% of the total traffic deaths that year. (Page 18 NHTSA Crash Stats) However, the total number of deaths attributable to driving drowsy represented a decrease from the previous year.
Buffalo Car Accidents – The Bottom Line
Managing the aftermath of a serious car accident is often overwhelmingly traumatic. This is especially true if a car crash results in the loss of a loved one.
If you wish to pursue justice, it is essential to contact seasoned car accident lawyers soon after the event to ensure you have appropriate legal representation. Experienced attorneys specializing in car or motor vehicle accidents have the skill to guide you as you begin your path to recovery and develop a plan for your future.
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