When you get behind the wheel of your car, you probably don’t think that you’ll be in an accident. After all, if you are a relatively safe driver, there shouldn’t be a problem – right?
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. As our analysis of Long Island crash data demonstrates, car accidents happen far too often – with more than 160,000 traffic accidents in our community between 2018 and 2019 alone. Most often, these crashes happened around holidays in November and December, and in the most populated communities in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
If you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Odierno Law Firm is dedicated to helping injury victims get the money that they deserve for their losses. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island personal injury lawyer.
Which Months Are The Most Dangerous for Accidents on Long Island?
According to 2018 – 2019 accident data, there are certain times of the year when it is simply more dangerous to drive in and around Long Island. During these two years alone, there were a total of 160,690 motor vehicle accidents. While the number of accidents remained fairly consistent throughout the year, there were some months when the total number of accidents shot up considerably.
November and December are peak times for motor vehicle accidents on Long Island. In those months, the rate of car accidents increased from a low of 4,864 crashes in February 2018 to a high of 7,247 in December of that same year. This may be linked to a few factors: snowy weather and an increase in travel around the holidays.
While the most accidents tend to happen in November and December, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these accidents are the most dangerous. In fact, the highest number of wrecks that caused injury and/or death happened in May in both 2018 and 2019. This fact may be linked to nicer weather in the spring and more people traveling to go to the beach or away for the weekend.
Unsurprisingly, 4 out of the top 5 days with the highest number of accidents occur around November and December:
- November 15: 801 accidents
- March 12: 704 accidents
- December 18: 688 accidents
- December 20: 680 accidents
- October 30: 679 accidents
Does this mean that you shouldn’t drive in these months or on these days? Of course not! But with this data, you can be more aware of the increased dangers of driving around Long Island when the roads are slick or when there is increased traffic due to holidays or vacations.
Surprisingly, the bottom 5 days of the year for motor vehicle accidents are composed of 5 winter days and two holidays:
- January 20: 245 accidents
- January 1: 236 accidents
- December 25: 235 accidents
- January 21: 235 accidents
- February 24: 226 accidents
These statistics may indicate that people tend to stay home on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day, reducing the risk of accidents. At the same time, there is less hustle and bustle in January and February compared to November and December – which may account for why there are fewer collisions on those days. Studies show that traffic accidents increase around major holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Where Are Accidents Most Likely to Occur on Long Island?
Now that we know when crashes are most likely to happen, the next step is to dig into where they occur. Unsurprisingly, the cities and towns with the largest populations tend to have the highest number of traffic accidents each year:
- Hempstead: 34,793 accidents (population 768,103)
- Brookhaven: 20,710 accidents (population 482,436)
- Islip: 17,098 accidents (population 330,914)
- Oyster Bay: 14,549 accidents (population 293,576)
- Huntington: 10,859 accidents (population 201,546)
- Babylon: 9,895 accidents (population 210,363)
- North Hempstead: 7,882 accidents (population 231,117)
- Smithtown: 5,237 accidents (population 116,384)
- Southampton: 4,066 accidents (population 58,314)
- Riverhead: 2,339 accidents (population 33,539)
These same municipalities also had the highest number of injury accidents between 2018 and 2019:
- Hempstead: 1,745 injury accidents
- Brookhaven: 1,099 injury accidents
- Islip: 970 injury accidents
- Oyster Bay: 425 injury accidents
- Huntington: 503 injury accidents
- Babylon: 622 injury accidents
- North Hempstead: 301 injury accidents
- Smithtown: 198 injury accidents
- Freeport: 262 injury accidents
- Southampton: 129 injury accidents
The top 5 cities with the most fatal accidents on Long Island include Brookhaven (76), Hempstead (51), Islip (46), Huntington (31), and Babylon (25).
Most of these accidents involve two or more motor vehicles. However, there are other types of collisions that happen far too often on Long Island: pedestrian and bicyclist accidents. The data reveals that the same top cities for auto accidents also tend to have the highest rates of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists being hit by cars:
- Hempstead: 685 pedestrian accidents
- Islip: 252 pedestrian accidents
- Brookhaven: 235 pedestrian accidents
- North Hempstead: 172 pedestrian accidents
- Babylon: 171 pedestrian accidents
- Hempstead: 251 bike accidents
- Brookhaven: 172 bike accidents
- Islip: 155 bike accidents
- Babylon: 97 bike accidents
- Oyster Bay: 79 bike accidents
Ultimately, these numbers reflect nationwide statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while more fatal traffic accidents happen in rural areas, non-fatal motor vehicle accidents are more prevalent in urban areas. This is due to an increased number of vehicles on the road, more people, and greater numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists.
What Types of Accidents Are Most Common on Long Island?
According to the NHTSA, driver error is the most common cause of motor vehicle collisions. In Long Island, this often results in serious car crashes. Between 2018 and 2019, there were 138,814 accidents involving two or more motor vehicles. During that same time frame, there were:
- 2,945 accidents involving light or utility poles
- 2,735 crashes with trees or another fixed object
- 2,649 pedestrian accidents
- 1,893 collisions involving a guide rail
These accidents happened in a number of different ways. The top 5 causes of accidents on Long Island include:
- Rear-end accidents: 48,757
- “Other” accidents: 36,394
- Overtaking accidents: 27,980
- Right angle accidents: 22,897
- Left-turn accidents: 7,599
This data reminds us that we should always be aware of other drivers on the road, and practice defensive driving. While you cannot prevent another driver’s negligence, you can stay alert to ensure that you have the best chance of avoiding a crash if another driver is careless. This may include staying within the speed limit, leaving enough space between vehicles, and minimizing distractions.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
After a motor vehicle accident, you may not know what to do or where to turn for help. You may be overwhelmed by all of the paperwork – and scared that you’ll make a mistake that will ruin your case. The Odierno Law Firm is here for you.
Based in Melville, NY, we represent accident victims throughout Long Island. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, working hard to help them achieve the best possible outcome for their cases. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Long Island car accident attorney, call our law office at 631-752-8580 or fill out our online contact form.