Suffolk County led New York in fatal crashes in 2020, study finds – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – Erratic driving is causing more accidents in New York City and it looks like the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.

Crashes continued to pile up in 2020, despite people not driving as much, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported on Monday.

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A new study found that Suffolk County had experienced more fatal accidents than anywhere else in the state last year.

“People drive drunk, they drive high, they speed up. They don’t wear their seat belts, ”said Robert Sinclair Jr. of AAA Northeast.

Sinclair Jr. said people have abandoned transit and blocked roads.

“I think this reflects the fact that we are seeing so much more driving on Long Island because of COVID,” he said.

In Suffolk County, 113 people died in traffic crashes in 2020, the highest number in the state, according to Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research.

Drivers saw the changes firsthand.

“People cut each other off, road rage. Driving is not fun, ”said Ed Reda of Bayside. “The amount of speed is now out of control. “

“The turn to red is very dangerous. People have no patience if you stop because you realize it’s going to turn out very soon. They beep behind you, ”said Judy Campbell of Patchogue.

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Drivers said they noticed a violation of the rules. Suffolk County Police have also taken note.

“Each of these fatal motor vehicle crashes is not just a number on a piece of paper. He is a person who died in our riding and who is not lost to us, ”said Acting Police Commissioner Stewart Cameron.

Cameron said they have stepped up law enforcement to reduce things like speeding tickets. They have also invested resources to find other less complex solutions.

“It could be as simple as a crosswalk that needs to be repainted or a street light that is turned off,” he said.

Even though things are starting to get back to normal, there are some trends that continue to be worrisome.

“We are seeing more and more fatal and serious accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. So that’s a big concern for us now, ”Cameron said.

Lowering the numbers is not impossible.

“If we could get people to stop drinking and driving, put on their seat belts and slow down, we could reduce the death toll by 50 or 60%,” Sinclair said.

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Kevin Rincon of CBS2 contributed to this report.

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