Understanding the Recent Decline in Drunk Driving Accidents in New York

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Currently, New York ranks as the state with the lowest number of drunk driving accidents relative to its population size. This data comes from multiple sources, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Surrounding states like New Jersey and Rhode Island also ranked low on the list, with Wyoming and the Dakotas holding the top three spots as the worst states for drunk driving accidents in the nation.

There are a few reasons why New York holds this position. Education about drunk driving and its consequences is certainly one reason. Another is the availability of public transportation and the general walkability of neighborhoods in New York compared to towns in other states. But one recent development has been cited as the most significant reason for the decline in drunk driving incidents in New York: ridesharing. Services like Uber and Lyft make it possible for intoxicated drivers to get home safely, eliminating the chance that they will cause car accidents.

Rideshare Services Changed how New Yorkers Get Around

According to a paper by Jessica Lynn Peck at the Graduate Centre at the City University of New York, Uber might have reduced the number of drunk driving deaths in New York City by 25 to 35 percent since its arrival in May 2011. The study points to the decrease in drunk driving fatalities in boroughs where Uber was quickly adopted after its launch compared to those, such as Staten Island, where it was not.

New York City Drunk Driving Statistics

From 2003 to 2012, 3,752 people died in drunk driving accidents in New York. A few others statistics to note from those years include:

  • 4 percent of New Yorkers reported driving after they knowingly drank too much, compared to a national average of 1.9 percent; and
  • There were 1.7 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people in New York. Nationally, there were 3.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Keep Yourself Safe when Drunk Drivers are On the Road

The best way to avoid an accident with a drunk driver is to stay off the road. Consider taking the subway to your destination to avoid walking, driving, or riding on the roadway.

If this is not possible, be vigilant of your surroundings and drive defensively. Put the phone down and do not drive if you have been drinking. If you notice another vehicle swerving in and out of lanes, failing to maintain a consistent speed, or failing to stop and yield as directed by local signage, stay away from that vehicle and notify local law enforcement of it. Try to note the vehicle’s make, model, color, license plate number, and the direction it was traveling. By reporting a potential drunk driver, you could save lives.

Work with an Experienced Bronx Auto Accident Lawyer

If you are injured in a collision with a drunk driver, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your resulting damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights as an injured victim, contact Grant & Longworth, Attorneys at Law to schedule your initial consultation with a Bronx car accident attorney at our firm.