Binghamton Injury Lawyer Says Study Shows Too Many New York Drivers Lack Knowledge of Basic Road Rules

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New York personal injury attorney Scott C. Gottlieb calls the findings of the 2011 GMAC National Drivers Test ‘disturbing’ when it comes to the safety of New York motorists.

Thousands of people die or sustain serious injuries in New York vehicles every year due to completely preventable accidents. If only drivers obeyed the rules of the road.

Only 1 out of 3 drivers in New York can meet the basic requirements to get a driver’s license, a recent national survey by GMAC Insurance Company reports.

More than 5,000 U.S. drivers between ages 16 and 65 took the insurance company’s written driver’s test, which quizzed motorists on their basic comprehension of road rules. Although New York drivers scored better than in the past three years – when the Empire State ranked last – the results only bumped it up to No. 45 among the 50 states and District of Columbia.

“It’s an improvement, but obviously New York drivers have a long way to go,” says Binghamton personal injury attorney Scott C. Gottlieb.

“Thousands of people die or sustain serious injuries in New York vehicles every year due to completely preventable accidents,” says Gottlieb, whose upstate New York personal injury law firm, Scott C. Gottlieb and Associates, regularly handles Broome County auto accident lawsuits. “If only drivers obeyed the rules of the road.”

Between 2005 and 2009, nearly 9,000 drivers were involved in fatal vehicle accidents in New York state, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In 2009 alone, more than 1,500 drivers were killed. An additional 306 pedestrians lost their lives.

The GMAC survey found that American drivers were lacking in fundamental driving knowledge. For example, 85 percent of the test-takers didn’t know the correct action to take when approaching a yellow light, and one-quarter were unaware of safe driving distances.

“That’s incredibly disturbing in a state like New York, which has a population of over 19 million people,” says Gottlieb, who practices throughout central New York. “The sheer concentration of people means more traffic, greater chances for error – and, sadly, the greater likelihood of dangerous or deadly car accidents.”

While it isn’t always easy to determine fault in some vehicle crashes, other times the accidents are clearly the fault of another party, the personal injury attorney added.

“That’s when consulting with a lawyer about your legal options is paramount,” Gottlieb says. “New York motor vehicle accident victims and their families may be facing significant burdens in the wake of the crash, but New York has some strict laws about what procedures must be taken when it comes to legal action.”

For example, New York state law mandates that a person’s injuries meet specific criteria to be deemed a “serious injury” in order to bring a lawsuit. Auto insurance laws are also time-sensitive, requiring that injured motorists meet specific reporting guidelines.

“That’s certainly not the first thing on your mind when you’re sitting in an emergency room with a broken leg after a T-bone collision, but those are the types of legal considerations that can make a difference in terms of your options and how much compensation you may be able to collect,” Gottlieb.

The New York car accident attorney suggests that all motorists test their driving knowledge, either through resources at their local DMV offices or driver safety courses.

About Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP

The Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, handle all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. The firm also represents clients in actions for wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. In 2008, the firm reached the $100-million mark in combined lifetime verdicts and settlements. Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates features offices in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown. For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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