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November 8, 2021 | Car Accidents

New York Surge in Car Ownership Potentially Leading to More Accidents

Driven by the Pandemic, New Car Registrations Rose Nearly 40% in NY

The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of our daily lives, including how we move from one place to another. New York’s mass transit system became a near ghost town as cases rose throughout the city. 

Likely prompted by coronavirus-related safety concerns, New Yorkers went in record numbers to purchase their own vehicles. But do these newly minted drivers pose an additional risk to the already congested roadways?

At Ajlouny Injury Law, we represent individuals who have been hurt in car accidents in NYC. Our attorneys offer free legal advice for those injured in auto accidents. Contact our office today at (718) 233-3913 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Drove New Car Ownership in NYC?

In the early months of the pandemic, with cases rising at an alarming rate, the country, including New York City, came to a standstill. Government-enforced shutdowns brought one of the largest mass transit systems in the world to a stop. 

Even as restrictions eased, many New Yorkers no longer felt safe taking public transit or being in close quarters with other people. Researchers believe that this prompted city dwellers to invest in cars of their own. According to CNET (based on reporting by the New York Times), New York car ownership rose 37% between August and October 2021

Which Borough Saw the Greatest Increase in New Car Registrations?

As noted in the article, Manhattan saw new car registrations jump an unprecedented 76%. Brooklyn also had an incredible expansion, with registrations rising 45% during that time period. 

Undoubtedly the pandemic had an impact. Smart Cities Dive reports that ridership is still low on the city’s mass transit systems. In New York City alone, there were nearly 900,000 new cars registered in 2020. One trend was clear - more people in the city were opting to own vehicles than ever before.

Are More Cars on the Road Dangerous?

Without question, New York suffered from traffic problems before the pandemic. City officials spent decades encouraging residents to use public transit in an effort to reduce congestion. The astronomical number of additional vehicles on the road will undoubtedly make things more complicated and potentially more dangerous.

Heavy congestion can result in:

  • Aggressive driving behaviors
  • More rear-end collisions
  • Risks to pedestrians and cyclists
  • Blocked entrances and exits for emergency vehicles
  • Unsafe lane changes

While traffic may not be the direct cause of an accident, more cars can increase the chances that you are involved in a collision. It is particularly true when the underlying infrastructure is outdated. Roads that are not built to sustain heavy amounts of traffic make it difficult for drivers to maneuver safely. 

How Else Will the Surge in Car Ownership Affect New Yorkers?

A potential hike in accidents may not be the only effect of the New York City car ownership surge. While it is unclear whether New Yorkers will decide to keep their pandemic purchases, it is evident that even a short-lived increase in cars on the road can have devastating consequences.

Problems that could be caused by more cars on the road:

  • The inability to find parking, resulting in even higher prices
  • A “congestion tax” 
  • Reduction in public transportation services due to low ridership
  • A rise in illegally parked vehicles 
  • Longer commute times

A greater number of cars in NYC is not only dangerous for other drivers, but it can also be hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists. Frustrated drivers may take risks on heavily congested roadways that can cause harm to unsuspecting pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, more cars on New York roadways may lead to more repair work on already buckling infrastructure. 

Staying Safe on Congested Roadways

If you do have to drive in New York, there are ways to stay safe despite the heavy traffic. First, always know where you are going and plan ahead. Be sure to check if there are any closures due to roadwork or construction and stay alert for any unexpected changes.

Safe driving tips for New York motorists: 

  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Keep up with routine maintenance on your vehicle
  • Never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Put away distractions, including your cell phone
  • Only pass when it is safe
  • Be aware of one-way roads
  • Leave early to allow time for obstructions and congestion

If you are involved in an accident, it is crucial to seek medical treatment for any injuries. A delay in treatment could affect your right to recovery.

Injured in an Auto Accident? Speak with a Lawyer Now.

At Ajlouny Injury Law, we can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve after an accident. We offer free legal advice for injury victims.

All consultations are without obligation to retain our services. Contact our office today at (718) 233-3913 to discuss your case with an experienced NYC car accident attorney.

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