Though New Yorkers own fewer cars per capita than most other regions in the country, Long Islanders still like to drive around. According to a recent study, 45 percent of all households within the New York City limits own a car. In Queens, that number increases to 62 percent, and in Brooklyn, the number is 44 percent.
Traffic on Long Island can be pretty terrible, and with so many drivers on the road, the risk for car accidents is high. Car accidents happen for any number of reasons, but every type of collision can result in an injury.
At TonaLaw, our Long Island car accident lawyers have seen wrecks of all severities. We know that even the most minor-seeming accidents can result in long-lasting, serious injuries. That’s why we always recommend getting a free consultation with an experienced attorney after an accident.
Knowing the most common types of car accidents in Long Island can help you avoid being in a wreck and, therefore, getting injured.
- Rear-end Collisions
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents we see in Long Island, and they are likely to happen in heavy traffic or at intersections. A driver may be on their phone, fiddling with the radio or otherwise distracted, or they may not see brake lights in time. No matter the cause, a rear-end collision, especially at higher speeds, can result in whiplash, broken bones, brain injury, and more.
While there’s not a whole lot you can do to keep someone from running into the back of your vehicle besides moving over for tailgaters, you can avoid causing this kind of accident. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of room to brake in the event the traffic in front of you suddenly stops. You may also want to invest in a car with automatic braking, if possible.
- Front Impact Collisions
Front impact collisions may be caused by two cars running into each other, or by one car hitting a stationary object like a telephone pole. They’re often caused by slick roads, especially in the winter. It’s important to slow down when it rains or snows, and to pay attention to the road.
Depending on the speed at which the head-on collision occurs, it could result in severe injuries. Common injuries include whiplash, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, blunt trauma to the body, and more. It’s crucial you seek medical treatment at the scene of the accident after this type of collision.
- Side Impact Collisions
Depending on how this type of accident occurs, it could be considered a “T-bone accident” or a “sideswipe.” A T-bone is often much more serious than a sideswipe, but both types of collisions can be severe. T-bones usually happen at intersections, often when one driver runs a red light or a stop sign. Sideswipes, on the other hand, occur when two drivers are driving next to each other in different lanes.
The easiest way to avoid side impact collisions is to be extra vigilant at intersections. Wait a moment or two when the light turns green before moving forward, especially at night. When you’re driving next to other cars, make sure you’re paying attention to where they are in their lane, and give extra room when possible.
- Parking Lot Collisions
Parking lot collisions are typically less severe than other types of accidents. They often result from one driver going too fast down an aisle or not paying attention and running into a car that’s backing out of their spot. It may also happen if the driver pulling out of their spot doesn’t see a car coming behind them, and running into the other car as they pull out of their own spot.
The easiest way to avoid parking lot accidents is to simply take it slow and pay attention as you’re driving through the lot. If you’re pulling out of your spot in reverse, don’t rely on a rear-view camera alone. Check out your surroundings before you get in your car and as you’re pulling out. If possible, reverse into the parking spot when you park, and park farther away from other cars.
- Low-Speed Impacts
Fender benders, or low-speed impacts, are often more of a nuisance than anything else. These types of collisions are usually caused by a driver following too closely, failing to yield or even trying to parallel park. In situations when a fender bender happens in traffic, a driver may be distracted, intoxicated or otherwise driving unsafely.
Though fender benders are often not severe, they can result in serious injuries. The most common injury resulting from low-speed impacts is whiplash. Left untreated, whiplash can lead to major nerve damage, tissue damage and other serious issues. Fender benders can also result in soft tissue injuries like bruises, cuts, muscle strains and ligament/tendon stretches or tears.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Long Island
If you’ve been in a car accident in Suffolk County or Nassau County, you need to take specific steps to ensure the wellbeing of your health and, in the future, your right to file a lawsuit. First, make sure everyone in your car and the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident are safe. Then, call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance.
Make sure a medical professional evaluates your injuries at the scene of the accident, and follow any treatment regimen you’re prescribed. While you’re at the scene, take photos of the cars, your injuries, road conditions and anything else you might think is pertinent. It’s always better to have too many photos than not enough.
Call your insurance provider and report the accident. Tell them the very minimum you can. They’re looking for any reason to pay you less than you deserve. If they ask any probing questions, let them know you’d like to speak with your attorney before you say anything else.
Finally, call a Long Island car accident attorney to discuss your legal options after a wreck.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Long Island Today
At TonaLaw, our Long Island car accident lawyers know how to fight against the insurance companies to get you the full compensation you deserve. We always offer free, no-obligation consultations, during which we’ll review the details of your case and advise on the next possible legal steps.