Perils of the New York Parkway: An Accident Waiting to Happen

imageIn NY’s five famous boroughs (Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island) hazardous driving conditions are quite common. The very structure of the city, with its congested traffic patterns and multitude of toll booths is certainly keeping a great many personal injury lawyers in business. One of the most daunting obstacles for drivers is the Parkway, a bona fide magnet for auto accident injuries and fatalities. Most recently, the Belt Parkway in Queens, NY was the scene of a fatal collision that resulted in two fatalities and one leg injury. The fourteen year old who survived might forever be haunted by the psychological effect of watching the 20 year old driver and the 19 year old passenger take their final breaths as the vehicle spun out of control.

Meanwhile, on the Meadowbrook Parkway another Incident Occurred

22 year old Stanley Miles and 31 year old Darren Gregory were pronounced dead on arrival after plummeting into a median strip on the Meadowbrook Parkway and colliding with a tree planted along the shoulder of the road. Investigation began immediately and law enforcement was forced to temporarily close off sections of the major road. This led to yet another collision in which both parties sustained minor vehicle damages.

And on the Bronx River Parkway in September of 2014

images1Yet another fatal collision made headlines in New York this year. Ironically, the event also occurred on the Parkway. The Bronx River Parkway was the site of a fiery two car crash that resulted in two deaths and one critical injury. Again, the drivers were young, early to mid twenty year olds. The surviving driver currently in critical condition is just 23 years of age.

The Grand Central Parkway in Queens, NY Proves Equally Dangerous

A 20 year old motorcycle passenger lost her life prematurely when the driver of the motorcycle she was aboard allegedly lost control of his vehicle crashing a few feet away from the 94th exit ramp. The driver, a 21 year old man, also sustained injuries to his shoulders. He remains hospitalized but in stable condition. The Parkway’s mid July victim, a 19 year old hailing from Queens never made it to the hospital after he collided with a car and guardrail before flipping over within close vicinity of Union Turnpike. Occupants of the car he collided with sustained various body injuries to their necks and backs. While many of these accidents were one car crashes possibly caused by unforeseeable elements such as hazardous road conditions or falling debris, others were the result of careless, often even reckless driving. Earlier this year, 20 year old Madosh Hansraj was charged with multiple felonies after allegedly causing a crash while intoxicated. This crash, which also took place on the Grand Central Parkway, resulted in two deaths and four injured victims.  The individuals who lost their lives on that fatal day were 17 and 18 years old.

Talk to Your Teens About Parkway Driving

Driving on the parkway in a highly populated city like New York is unlike any other driving experience. Parkways, with their multiple off ramps, distracting scenery and notorious reputation for jerky stops, can be perilous territory for newbie drivers. Most of the fatalities that happen on the parkway happen to teen drivers who are still learning their way around the road. Here are a few rules of thumb to pass along to your teen before they take on parkway driving.

Number 1: Know the Restrictions

There are multiple commercial vehicle restrictions on New York City parkways that your teens might not even be aware of. If your teens review the city restrictions but find they are a bit hard to follow, refer to rule number 2.

Number 2: Map the Route Ahead of Time

The likelihood of an accident increases if you don’t know where you’re headed. Exit signs can pop up out of nowhere, forcing drivers to crisscross multiple lanes in a short amount of time. This leaves the driver vulnerable to the possibility of colliding with medians, guardrails, even other cars.

Number 3: Pay Attention to Other Drivers— They Might Not Know What They’re Doing

It is incredibly sad when a driver or passenger loses their life due to another driver’s carelessness. Be certain to inform your teens of the signs of a reckless driver so they will constantly be on the lookout for:

  • Drivers on cell phones
  • Drivers swerving all over the road
  • Drivers switching lanes too frequently
  • Drivers who appear to be intoxicated

Number 4: Maintain a Safe Following Distance

Traffic in the city can cause us all to forget this golden rule but if and when it’s possible, leaving a large amount of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of yours is always an excellent practice.

Richard C. Bell is a personal injury attorney who has been practicing law in New York City since 1982.  He handles cases resulting from negligence and is committed to obtaining maximum compensation for his clients. In addition to being featured for his efforts in accredited media outlets such as The Donahue Show, The New York Times and The Daily News, Richard also has an excellent reputation for achieving multimillion dollar verdicts. Some of his most recent settlements have resulted in his clients being awarded upwards from $6.5 million. He can be reached at the Law Offices of Richard C Bell for inquiries.

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