Dutchess County is one of New York State’s most dangerous areas for driving. Beset by poorly designed and narrow roads, as well as high traffic both during the week and weekend, drivers in Dutchess have to be extremely careful since auto accidents are a common occurrence in this area.
Driving in Dutchess County: Is It Safe?
Located relatively close to Manhattan and other major New York economic centers, Dutchess County sees a lot of traffic both in and out of its borders during a typical weekday. On the weekend, visitors and residents drive around the county to take in its scenic environments or to head to New York City.
All of this results in a disproportionately large amount of traffic compared to many other similarly-populated counties in the state. As a result, driving in Dutchess County can be difficult and dangerous, particularly on certain roads. As the data below shows, Dutchess County is far from New York’s safest county for driving.
Auto Accidents in Dutchess County
Each year, over 1,000 deaths occur in New York due to motor vehicle accidents. Another 12,000 hospitalizations and 137,000 emergency department visits are also treated to auto accidents within New York State.
But Dutchess County is particularly problematic. Official New York State data indicates that motor vehicle traffic injuries are the third-leading cause for all injury-related deaths within the county.
The following averages occur each month in Dutchess County, NY due to motor vehicle accidents:
- 2 people die
- 14 people are hospitalized
- 152 people are treated in an emergency department
Dutchess County is dangerous compared to its neighboring counties. In fact, Dutchess is the sixth-most dangerous county in New York regarding total emergency room visits from vehicle collisions, only beaten by Suffolk, Nassau, Orange, Sullivan, and Schenectady counties.
Pedestrian Accidents in Dutchess County
While regular auto accidents are unusually prevalent in Dutchess, pedestrians in this area should be careful as well. In fact, the years of 2012 through 2014 saw seven people killed on Dutchess County roads in total. This may be due to the high prevalence of two-lane, no-shoulder roads that run throughout the county. Examples of some of these roads are below.
Dangerous Roads in Dutchess County for NY Drivers
The greater Dutchess County area is more dangerous for New York drivers compared to other counties. Additionally, there are certain roads within Dutchess County that drivers should try to avoid.
For instance, US Route 9, which once ran through the Dutchess city of Poughkeepsie, typically funnels highway traffic into a single-lane road on both sides. US Route 9 is frequently congested and is the site of regular crashes, minor bumps, and other traffic hazards.
Taconic State Parkway is another big accident zone for Dutchess County. It’s a major highway traffic artery for the county, so commuters drive on it every day going to and from work.
Taconic State Parkway, like US Route 9, has only two lanes running in either direction. Much of the Parkway is also hampered by the lack of a shoulder, making pulling over for repairs or an emergency difficult. Driving on Taconic State Parkway in the dark or during winter conditions is especially dangerous.
The Parkway does not have on or off-ramps except for a few spots at major intersections. Cars frequently brake suddenly to make a quick turn off the roadway or may try to pass one another with little caution.
Common Injuries from Auto Accidents in Dutchess County
The high rate of incidence regarding auto accidents in Dutchess County inevitably leads to many avoidable injuries each year. Auto accidents can cause a number of minor and major injuries depending on the type of accident, the position of the victims, and more. Common auto accident injuries include:
- Bruises and lacerations due to broken glass
- Broken bones from blunt force trauma
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries/TBIs
- Spinal injuries, particularly revolving around neck damage
- Long-term pain and discomfort
- Mental injuries such as PTSD
Not everyone is lucky enough to get away from a Dutchess County auto accident with a few scrapes and bruises. Many people continue to suffer even after they physically recover from their auto accident injuries due to the high medical bills required for that recovery. As a result, many auto accident victims feel that they must pursue compensation to cover their medical expenses.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Dutchess County
Anyone involved in an auto accident in Dutchess County should first seek safety and immediate medical treatment of any injuries. Victims on the Taconic State Parkway in particular should try to move away from the narrow road as soon as possible. Staying on the parkway could lead to further injuries or more accidents due to its unsafe design.
After reaching safety, and treatment if necessary, victims should consider filing a New York State auto accident lawsuit. New York is a no-fault state. By default, auto accident victims’ insurance should cover any necessary damages or compensation.
However, New York does allow auto accident lawsuits in cases where negligence can be proven. Skilled lawyers can assist auto accident victims and ensure that they receive the compensation they need to fully recover. Compensation may be awarded for:
- Covering any necessary medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life quality
- Loss of income both during recovery and after
- And more. Contact a Dutchess County car accident attorney for a free evaluation of your case, and discover the value of your specific case.
Car Accident Attorneys in New York
Auto accident victims in Dutchess County will only stand the best chance of getting the compensation they need for recovery if they contact Sobo & Sobo: New York’s most knowledgeable attorneys. With their help, auto accident victims can file a successful lawsuit and get back to their lives quickly. Contact them today for a free consultation.