The Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Long Island

Illustrative list of types of car accidents
Driving carefully and alert are some of the best recommendations for safe driving Image Source: Free Images‍

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality for many Long Island drivers. Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents in the region. While no one can guarantee that they will never be involved in a fender bender, there are certain types of accidents that are more common than others, especially here in Long Island.

By understanding what these are and how to avoid them, you can help to keep yourself and your passengers safe. In this article, we’ll look at the most common types of car accidents in Long Island and what you can do to help prevent them.

Rear-End Collisions

These are on the top of the list. This type of accident is caused when a driver comes to a sudden stop and is hit from behind by another vehicle. It is the result of one driver not paying attention to their surroundings and not slowing down enough when needed.

Rear-end collisions can be especially dangerous if the car that is rear-ended is stopped or moving very slowly. This is because the momentum of the crashing vehicle can cause more damage. To help prevent these types of collisions, be sure to always pay attention while driving and avoid driving while distracted.

If you notice the car behind you is extremely close, don’t antagonize them by hitting your brakes. The easiest way to avoid a potential disaster from happening is to move into another lane and let them pass you.

Side-Impact Collisions

These accidents occur when the side of one vehicle is hit by another vehicle, known as sideswapping. It is an accident that is often caused by a driver not paying attention to their surroundings or driving too fast for the existing road conditions to handle.

It can also happen when one driver tries to change lanes too quickly and doesn’t leave enough room between their vehicle and the vehicle in the other lane. Side-impact collisions can be especially dangerous when the car that is hit is a passenger vehicle. This is because smaller vehicles often don’t have as much protection as larger vehicles.

When behind the wheel, drive at a safe speed and leave plenty of room when changing lanes. You can also equip your car with a side-impact prevention system, which is designed to help protect you and your passengers in the event of a side-impact collision. 

Additionally, most new cars use technology that alerts you if you are going to move into another lane but it is not safe to do so called blind spot protection and has saved many from an otherwise dangerous accident.

Head-On Collisions

Believe it or not, one car heading directly into another car head on is more common than you might think. Many times it is the result of a DWI driver, but it can also happen when a driver enters a lane that leads to a highway or parkway but entered in the wrong lane.

Head-on collisions can be especially dangerous when they involve large trucks or other large vehicles. To help prevent these accidents, stay alert when entering the lane to the highway. Of course, if you are just driving along the road and someone is intoxicated or from some other condition and is coming directly in your direction, it is difficult to avoid this, so the best way to avoid this is to always drive at a safe speed and don’t allow yourself to get distracted!


Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle turns over as a result of sudden or improper steering. It is often caused by driving too fast, driving while fatigued as well as slipping on snow or ice and losing control of the vehicle. Rollovers can be especially dangerous if they happen at high speed or if the car rolls onto its roof. In these accidents, the roof of the car often crushes, making it harder for passengers to get out.

Pedestrian Accidents 

Man about to be hit by a car
Photo: iStock

Over 300 people are killed by pedestrian accidents every year in New York City and 2022 is proving to be one of the most deadliest years. Mayor Erica Adams has recently initiated a campaign to prevent injuries to pedestrians.

Most of the time these accidents occur at crosswalks and are the result of distracted driving (which we have outlined below). It can also happen when a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, or when a pedestrian doesn’t follow proper crossing procedures. Hopefully, this campaign will go statewide in order to help to diminish these high statistics of pedestrian accidents.

Distracted Driving

Man holding cell phone while driving
Photo: iStock

10.4% of all fatal crashes and 24.5% of all road injuries were do to drivers being distracted while on the road. Most of us are pretty well versed on what distracted driving is, but as technology advances, so do the ways that drivers find themselves getting distracted. A fairly new one is the ability to watch TV or streaming broadcasts on your cell phone as they drive. New cell phone handlers such as suction cups that connect right onto the dashboard subsequently, allowing the driver to have a clear view of the screen as they drive. 

Initially, this was designed for easier viewing of GPS destination mapping which is especially useful for rideshare drivers, but some folks have been taking advantage of this convenience. So let us summarize some of the other conditions that cause drivers to be distracted.

      • Eating 
      • Adjusting your radio
      • Dropping something and trying to pick it up as the car is moving

Some of the more well known and unfortunately all to common reasons are:

      • Texting while driving
      • Talking on the cell phone

These last two items are the most dangerous since drivers keep their eyes or minds distracted for a longer period of time. Distracted driving can be especially dangerous when it leads to another type of accident, like a rear-end collision or a pedestrian accident. Under these conditions, you could be liable for severe penalties as both these actions are against the law in New York. 

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving poster
Drunk Driving Poster from the US Military. Photo: Wikimedia Public Domain

This type of accident can be caused by driving after consuming too much alcohol or when using certain types of drugs. It can also happen when a driver fails to sober up before getting behind the wheel after drinking at a bar or a party. NYS statistics show that more than 40 percent of all highway deaths occur from impaired drivers. DWI (DUI in other states) accidents can be especially dangerous because they often lead to other types of accidents. They can be fatal, resulting in many deaths every year.

To help prevent drunk driving, use common sense. Even one drink can impair your ability to drive and yes, even one beer can cause you to lose your ability to adequately determine your driving speed, visibility, alertness, and reaction time. There is a metabolic factor involved here though. That one beer can have different effects on different people, depending upon your weight and other physical traits, but on average, one beer can have a BAC of approximately .02% – .04%.

A blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds of more than .05 percent will show that you are impaired. .08 percent or higher is legal evidence that your acholic impairment equates to that of intoxication, and .18 percent or higher applies to aggravated driving while intoxicated, which means that the driver has twice the legal limit.

The bottom line is to use self-discipline and think about others who may get hurt or even killed if you decide to act recklessly. For the rest of us who do adhere to the laws of the road, if you see someone driving a car erratically, it could mean that that person is intoxicated or under the influence of drug use and needs to get off the road. In such a case, don’t hesitate to call 911. You may be just saving a life!

Poor Weather Conditions

Man driving under poor weather conditions
Photo by Tom Morbey on Unsplash

Poor weather conditions are often responsible for car accidents. You can be driving safely and all of a sudden, your tires slip and you lose control of the wheel. This is especially true if you happen to drive over black ice. Accidents can also happen when a driver fails to slow down or adjust their speed for conditions like fog, rain, or snow.

Poor weather can also cause a chain-reaction accident that involves several vehicles. As with all safety methods, the most important one is caution and alertness. We know that when under severe weather, even those safety measures might not help, so the best advise we can give here is don’t drive when the weather is bad unless you absolutely have to. 


In Conclusion

Many years ago, there was a TV commercial that focused on how to avoid traffic accidents with the expression “Look out for the other guy!”. That still holds true today. Always stay alert to your surroundings while driving and if you notice something potentially dangerous, stay a good distance away and call the police if you believe that driver could cause an injury to him/herself as well as others.

When you are driving, make sure that you always follow the state laws. Keep your seatbelt on and never allow yourself to become distracted and let’s lend a helping hand when we can. If you see a car driving down the road at night with his lights off. Don’t just pass him by. Give a shout out and tell him. For all you know, you could possibly save his life and the life of others!

Scroll to Top