New York is one of the most exciting places to visit. Whether driving your own vehicle or renting one, you should follow all state and local laws. Getting into an accident is the last thing you want to worry about when you visit, advises the Law Firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP.
Be Alert For Pedestrians and Bicyclists
New York has a lot of people who commute on bikes or on foot, so you should be careful when driving to avoid an accident. In 2019 there were 18,510 bicycle accidents that resulted in 18,494 people being injured and 16 fatalities. Crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists are preventable as long as you watch for corners and crosswalks and are mindful of the bike lanes. Bicyclists can ride in bike lanes along with traffic, not on sidewalks. Pay extra special attention at night when it is much harder to see cyclists and pedestrians.
Driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies from drunk driving every 45 minutes. Alcohol impairs judgment, slows down the driver’s reaction time, limits their coordination, and practically obliterates their sense of self-control, which are all skills that are necessary for driving a car. Under New York law, drivers are considered intoxicated to the point of committing a criminal offense if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The penalty for a first DUI in New York includes fines between $500 and $1,000 and license revocation. On your second offense, whether it was in New York or not, the penalty includes five days in jail or 30 days of community service.
Be Aware of What’s In Your Insurance Policy
When was the last time you read your car insurance policy? Do you know if you have uninsured motorist coverage? This is important to ask yourself and check on before you drive in New York because if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or is underinsured, then there will be almost no legal recourse for you if your injuries and damages are extensive. Car accidents usually lead to exorbitant medical bills and lost wages. However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, even if you are hit by a driver without insurance, you will still be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Even if you hire a personal injury attorney, if the other party has no insurance and has no money, then there is so very little that a car accident attorney can legally do for you. That is why personal injury attorneys always recommend that you cover yourself adequately so that you’re not left with the bill later on regardless of others’ actions.
Wear Your Seatbelt
According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, approximately 33% of front seat occupants that were killed in New York motor vehicle accidents in 2019 were not wearing a seatbelt. In a car accident, occupants in the backseat who are not wearing a seatbelt can become projectiles and at risk for serious injury or death. The last thing you need when visiting New York is to worry about catastrophic injuries that were preventable by wearing a seatbelt.