Causes of Accidents

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, 122,551 people in New York were seriously injured and 933 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2017. Most of these accidents were caused by preventable factors, such as:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI; DWI)
  • Speeding

Simple changes in behavior while behind the wheel can make a big difference in saving lives and preventing injuries in New York State. At William Mattar Law Offices, we want you to be aware of the dangers and be a part of the solution.

Distracted Driving

Driver distraction accounted for 391,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes in New York in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many activities fall into the distracted driving category, including:

  • Texting and Driving
    Texting while driving poses a great danger to people on the road. In fact, texting behind the wheel was outlawed in New York in 2009. Since then, instances of drivers texting have decreased significantly throughout the state.
  • Using Cell Phones, GPS, or Other Electronic Devices
    The penalties for cell phone use while driving continue to increase in severity. In 2011, a new law was passed in New York that made it a primary traffic offense to use a handheld electronic device to text or talk while driving. Violators of the law can be fined up to $150.
  • Eating, Drinking, or Listening to Headphones
    Other distractions behind the wheel can include anything from loud music to eating while driving—any task that distracts your eyes and ears from the road. Because distracted driving poses such a danger, the car accident attorneys at William Mattar Law Offices urge you to eliminate as many of these distractions as possible each time you get in the car.

At William Mattar Law Offices, we focus on motor vehicle injury accidents and have pursued many claims where distracted driving was a factor in causing serious injuries to our clients.

Driving Under the Influence

Nearly 1 in 3 traffic deaths involve motorists who are under the influence, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. These accidents may involve alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs. Drunk or drugged driving with a child in the car is an especially egregious offense.

In 2009, the New York legislature passed Leandra’s Law, making it a class E felony—punishable by up to four years in prison—to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child under age 15 in the car. The law is named after an 11-year-old girl who lost her life because of intoxicated driving.


Putting the pedal to the metal tends to include dangerous, accident-causing behavior like failing to keep right, failing to yield, following too closely, passing too closely, and unsafe lane changing. It’s simple: the faster you drive, the more you put yourself and those around you at risk of a dangerous car accident.

Increased awareness and improved law enforcement have helped decrease speeding in New York. Despite these measures, in 2010, 95 percent of drivers killed in fatal New York car crashes were in speeding vehicles. Slowing down can help save hundreds of lives each year.

GM Ignition Recall Accidents

When car manufacturers and their parts suppliers produce unsafe products, even the safest drivers can become injury victims. General Motors has recalled tens of millions of vehicles produced between 1997-2014 due to deadly accident risks caused by defective ignition components.

Visit our GM Ignition Recall Accidents page to find out if your vehicle was affected and how we can help if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a recalled GM vehicle.

Make a Difference on the Road

Many accidents are preventable. Using safe driving practices could save your life or the life of another. To stay safe on the road, the car accident injury attorneys at William Mattar suggest taking three simple precautions while driving:

  • Put down the phone
  • Avoid speeding and aggressive driving
  • Don’t drink and drive

Thanks to enforcement programs and the passage of distracted driving laws in New York, the roads in our state are slowly getting safer. The use of handheld phones in cars has dropped significantly in recent years. Likewise, law enforcement efforts and safety programs across New York have kept the number of speeding-related fatalities on a downward trend since 2005.

Unfortunately, statistics show that several hundred people in New York State still lose their lives because of speeding each year. We urge drivers to slow down and give their undivided attention to the road while driving.

Hurt in a Car? Call William Mattar.

If you have been injured, contact the attentive car accident attorneys at William Mattar today. Call (844) 444-4444 or complete a free initial consultation form now. We have more than two decades of experience helping injured victims throughout New York State.