Are New Yorkers Better Drivers? Reports Tell Conflicting Stories

What makes a road safe? Is it a low number of deadly accidents or drivers with good driving habits? Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto insurance companies, and other organizations release reports analyzing driving habits, traffic violations, and accident data to determine which state has the safest roads.

The recent release of two studies proves just how hard it is to quantify road safety. A report from SafeWise, an online resource for home security and safety information, ranked New York the third safest state based on traffic fatalities and related factors. SafeWise pointed out NY’s lower than average speed limits, higher levels of congestion, fewer instances of drunk driving, and solid enforcement of seat belts laws to explain this conclusion.

New York didn’t fare so well in a similar study conducted by EverQuote, an online auto insurance marketplace. EverQuote compiled data from its free app, which uses smartphone GPS to track driving habits. New York ranked 20th in the country for good driving habits, and scored very poorly for various specific actions. For example, New York was found to be the 12th worst state for speeding. It was also ranked seventh for instances of hard braking and sixth for risky acceleration. However, the app found that New Yorkers were the 10th best drivers when it came to using the phone behind the wheel, perhaps due to the state’s stringent distracted driving consequences.

While both reports ranked New York differently, there is some correlation in the metrics used. For example, EverQuote’s data on hard stops and riskier acceleration make sense given New York’s greater levels of congestion (as observed by SafeWise), since traffic jams tend to bring out such behaviors. Drivers are also less likely to be involved in fatal car accidents when stuck in traffic.

The bottom line is that which state has the safest roads depends heavily on the metrics used. Since SafeWise primarily focused on traffic fatalities in its study, rather than specific bad driving habits, and New York ranked much higher. Fatalities were not factored into EverQuote’s results, and New York’s ranking dropped accordingly.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding, or any other traffic-related offense in New York, it is imperative that you retain a skilled attorney to help you fight the serious consequences you may face. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic attorneys who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

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