Although the circumstances that make a road dangerous may vary, some specific routes and thoroughfares in New York are infamous for having an above-average number of fatal crashes.
According to the NY Department of Health, the average traffic fatality rate in the state of New York is 292 deaths per year. Here are some of the Empire State’s most dangerous roads, what makes them deadly, and how they contribute to the traffic fatality statistics.
1. Taconic State Parkway:
Despite its unparalleled beauty, the 104-mile New York State Route 987G (NY 987G) (better known as the Taconic State Parkway) is one of New York’s deadliest and most infamous roads. Even though trucks, buses, trailers, campers, and vehicles over 8’ tall are all prohibited from entering the parkway network, the Taconic primarily consists of tight, winding 2-lane roads.
Fog, rain, sleet, snow, and other weather conditions can quickly turn the scenic route into a dangerous driving environment. According to statistics compiled by New York State Troopers, over 2,000 car crashes occurred from 2011 to 2014, or approximately 667 a year.
2. Interstate 87
Interstate 87 (I-87) in New York is a 333-mile long road connecting New York City in the Bronx to the Canadian border, where it transitions into the A-15 and connects to Montreal, Quebec.
According to a 2019 CBS News article, which compiled NHTSA data spanning 11 years (2008 to 2017), Interstate 87 is the deadliest highway in New York, home to approximately 19 fatalities per year. One of the most recent and fatal incidents on I-87 took place in September 2021, in which 2 people were killed in a wrong-way crash west of Lake George.
3. Interstate 95
As one of the longest highways in the United States (1,908 miles), it’s no surprise that Interstate 95 (I-95) is also one of the deadliest. A 2020 Zebra study revealed that the I-95 is America’s most dangerous highway, with 284 fatalities per year.
Although its New York section is only 23.44 miles long, it runs almost entirely through New York City, from the George Washington Bridge to the Connecticut Turnpike. This high-density, high-traffic location makes it one of the interstate’s primary accident hotspots, at 208 crashes per year.
4. Interstate 81
Interstate 81 (I-81) is an 855-mile highway spanning six states, running from Dandridge, Tennessee, to Canadian Highway 137.
The New York section of I-81 is approximately 184 miles long and runs through Syracuse, where it intersects with I-90. In June 2021, a report by the Congress for New Urbanism revealed that I-81 in Syracuse was one of the 15 worst urban highways in America.
Not only is it one of Syracuse’s worst congestion hotspots (43,000 to 90,000 vehicles daily), but Syracuse.com journalists estimate that, on average, a single 1-mile section of the city sees approximately one accident per day.
5. Upper Broadway, New York City
New York City’s dense network of streets and intersections is home to some of the state’s most dangerous roads. Upper Broadway is one of the most well-known examples because it was the focus of an NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) traffic fatality reduction program in 2014.
According to the NYC DOT, an 8.3-mile section of Upper Broadway spanning from Columbus Circle to West 220th Street saw 24 fatalities between 2008 and 2014. This included 22 pedestrian deaths.
As part of the Reckless Driving Kills safety campaign, the city reduced the speed limit on Upper Broadway from 30 mph to 25 mph. Traffic signals have been reprogrammed to limit the number of speeding opportunities.
Despite the city’s efforts to limit traffic fatalities, the Big Apple remains one of the worst cities to drive in America, with over 4,000 serious injuries per year.
Although New York is a no-fault state, Article 51 of the New York State Insurance Law states that you may be entitled to additional compensation if you have sustained a legally-defined serious injury or more than $50,000 in economic losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Syracuse, Utica, Ithaca, Watertown, or the surrounding areas, one of our New York car accident lawyers is ready to offer guidance on your case. Our team has the experience to determine the extent of your injuries and will work hard to obtain fair compensation.
Contact our law firm today for your free case evaluation.