Syracuse drivers face high accident risks. In a state that sees a high volume of traffic, many drivers must contend with traffic jams, accidents that prevent them from moving safely on the roads, and a host of hazards that can slow them down or lead to increased danger on the roads.
Syracuse also sees a high degree of pedestrian traffic—and pedestrians may face higher risks than drivers since they have nothing to protect them from the force associated with an accident.
Reckless Drivers and Ongoing Construction
The New York Department of Transportation constantly has construction projects running on Syracuse streets. Like much of the rest of New York, Syracuse streets see a great deal more travel than they were originally intended to handle. As a result, roads can break down quickly, developing dangerous potholes and other hazards that can lead to tire blowouts and a greater difficulty controlling cars on Syracuse streets.
Construction, on the other hand, poses different hazards on Syracuse roads, especially for reckless drivers.
Often, construction zones mean narrower roads. Drivers must, overall, navigate more carefully to avoid the risk of drifting into another lane, which could cause serious injuries in a sideswipe collision. Reckless driving on narrow roads, on the other hand, can make it much more difficult for the driver to safely navigate through those narrow areas.
Worse, narrow areas in construction zones often do not have the same clear markings and progression as normal roads, which means many drivers may have a hard time determining where those roads go and how to navigate them safely. Reckless drivers may weave in and out of traffic or even hit traffic cones as they move through construction zones.
Unexpected Road Changes
In some areas, construction can lead to unexpected road changes. Many drivers get used to navigating the same areas in the same way each time.
Construction zones, on the other hand, may mean that drivers no longer know exactly how those roads will move and how they should expect to navigate them, which means they may inadvertently drift out of their assigned lanes, fail to drive at the speed limit, or encounter other serious challenges that cause them to pose a danger both to others and to themselves.
Reckless Driving and Syracuse Nightlife
In downtown Syracuse, in particular, many people enjoy visiting bars and restaurants, making the most of a busy nightlife scene. Both students and long-term residents enjoy stops like Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge or Shifty’s Bar & Grill.
While those locations can offer a great place to cut loose and have a few drinks, the array of available businesses can lead to a higher number of drunk drivers, who may choose to take to the roads while inebriated instead of calling a rideshare vehicle or choosing another way to get home.
Unfortunately, that can make reckless drivers even more dangerous in those areas. Reckless drivers may have a harder time navigating around potentially inebriated drivers, who may drive more recklessly and have more trouble controlling their vehicles.
Busy Syracuse Streets
Syracuse, as a city, has something to offer anyone who wants to visit or live there. It has a wide array of restaurants, plenty of shopping, and hundreds of attractions that can bring in visitors. It has the Landmark Theatre, the Redhouse Arts Center, the City Market, and the Museum of Science and Technology, where many residents and visitors alike can spend countless hours. The wide array of activities means that Syracuse residents and visitors have plenty of activities to choose from when they visit the city.
It also, however, means that the streets remain very busy throughout the day. Many people visit Syracuse for vacations and look forward to the wide array of activities they can enjoy while there. Residents of the city also head out to enjoy those activities regularly.
Those busy streets can pose some hazards when combined with reckless drivers.
Tight traffic means less room to maneuver.
Reckless drivers may try to move quickly through traffic, but find themselves stuck as they deal with the heavy levels of traffic present in Syracuse, especially during rush hour. They may, as a result, cause an accident as they attempt to cut through traffic.
Tight traffic also means less room for other drivers to get away from reckless behavior around them. They may have few ways to get around a reckless driver, to slow down, or to change lanes.
Heavy traffic can lead to more slowdowns and delays.
Drivers who are already prone to reckless driving may become more likely to drive aggressively as a result of serious delays, which can slow them down and make it difficult for them to reach their goals. People who drive recklessly may swerve in and out of traffic, tailgate, or even attempt to run other drivers off the road as they get increasingly frustrated with the intense levels of Syracuse traffic.
The Hazards of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving may include a variety of dangerous behaviors.
Speeding, even by just 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, can substantially increase the risk of sustaining a severe injury in a serious accident. Accidents that occur at high rates of speed also have a higher likelihood of ending in death. Reckless drivers often push through traffic at high rates of speed, forcing other drivers to rush out of their way. As their speed increases, reckless drivers may have a harder time reacting to potential dangers on the road in front of or around them.
Ignoring Traffic Signals
Traffic signals, including both stoplights and stop signs, serve as barriers that can help direct traffic. They let drivers know when they can safely proceed through an intersection and when they need to hold back and allow someone else to move forward instead.
Unfortunately, reckless drivers often ignore those traffic signals. They may plunge through an intersection regardless of who should technically proceed through next. Often, this can lead to serious T-bone collisions and sideswipe accidents.
Failure to Yield
Reckless drivers often choose not to yield to oncoming traffic or to drivers who have right of way, usually because they want to push forward to reach their destination faster. Ignoring those traditional rules of the road, however, can make it incredibly difficult for other drivers to predict the reckless driver’s behavior, which can lead to a collision.
Many reckless drivers will tailgate other drivers to try to push them to drive faster, especially when they cannot change lanes to get around them. Tailgating, however, can make it incredibly difficult for reckless drivers to respond appropriately if the driver in front of them has to brake, which may raise accident risk considerably.
Weaving Through Traffic
Many reckless or aggressive drivers will weave quickly through traffic, changing lanes unpredictably and behaving in a way that no one can anticipate. Most drivers cannot pay close attention to the road around them while changing lanes abruptly.
They may spend too much time looking for that space to move into or try to change lanes without knowing whether another vehicle has moved into that space. This behavior can significantly increase overall accident risk and make it hard for drivers to avoid collisions with an aggressive driver.
What to Do After a Syracuse Reckless Driving Accident
The other driver that hit you in a Syracuse accident chose to drive aggressively, either by running a red light, speeding, or simply weaving through traffic. That dangerous behavior made it impossible for you to avoid an accident.
What comes next?
1. Contact the police and report an accident.
A reckless driver may try hard to convince you not to call the police to report the accident. The driver may not want you to report the behavior to the police because he or she knows that reckless behavior can result in more serious legal penalties. He or she may try to convince you that he needs to get to his destination in a hurry, and that you should not have to wait for the police to arrive to give a report. Failure to issue a report with the police department, however, can make it very hard for you to prove who caused the accident.
The police officers will take a look at the accident when they arrive at the scene and help assess what factors may have led to the accident. Often, the police report can serve as vital evidence that will help you file a car accident claim in the future.
2. Visit a local hospital or urgent care center.
Whether you choose to go to Upstate University Hospital or Crouse Hospital, you have plenty of options for treatment in the Syracuse area. Let a doctor evaluate you for potential injuries and determine whether you may need further treatment.
Reckless driving collisions often involve a great deal of force, either because of a higher rate of speed or because the reckless driver’s behavior left both drivers with little room to react to avoid an accident. You may suffer serious injuries and, in some cases, not even notice many of the obvious symptoms of those injuries at the time of the accident. A doctor can identify those injuries and help get you started with a care plan that will help you get needed treatment.
In addition, your medical records will serve as evidence of when your injuries took place. Sometimes, when accident victims walk away from the scene of an accident, the liable driver’s insurance company may later try to prove that the victim’s injuries occurred at a different time, which would mean that the insurance company does not bear liability for paying for those injuries. That lack of medical records establishing when the injuries took place can make it difficult for you to ultimately seek the compensation you deserve.
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor or care team as you recover from your injuries. Your doctor’s instructions will help give you the best possible odds of making a full recovery from your injuries.
3. Talk to a Syracuse car accident attorney.
In the aftermath of a serious reckless driving accident, an attorney can offer a vital lifeline that can help you navigate your legal claim. Failing to contact an attorney can leave you floundering as you struggle to figure out what to do next, including how much compensation you should expect or how to deal with the insurance company.
An attorney can help guide you through that process.
When you contact a Syracuse car accident attorney, you will get access to a skilled legal professional who can help you figure out what comes next as you move through your car accident claim.
An attorney can investigate the reckless driving accident, get a better idea of who caused or contributed to the accident, and provide you with vital information about the compensation you deserve and how to increase the odds that you will receive it.
An auto accident attorney can also handle dealing with the insurance company for you, which can free up your energy to focus on your recovery and decrease the stress that you have to deal with in the immediate aftermath of a severe accident.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.