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Long Island’s Most Dangerous Roads

Long Island has a lot of people, with a lot of cars. A recent study reported by News 12 stated that seven out of the ten most dangerous roads in the state of New York are on Long Island. This is not surprising. While New York City is packed with cars and people, the cars move pretty slowly due to heavy traffic. Additionally, many rely on public transportation rather than cars. Only very popular roads, such as Broadway, really pose a threat as being dangerous. As for upstate New York, although they have many highways, those roads are far less populated than the rest of the state. Long Island however, has that perfect combination of dense population and an abundance of major roads.

The most dangerous roads on Long Island include Jericho Turnpike, Sunrise Highway, Wicks Road, Hempstead Turnpike, Middle Country Road, Route 110 and Merrick Rd. Jericho Turnpike (Route 25) is reported to be the most dangerous for pedestrians, with approximately half of all pedestrian accident deaths occurring between Centerreach and Ridge. The reason a road like Jericho Turnpike has so many pedestrian accidents is due to the fact that its purpose is designed to serve as a high volume road for residential and commercial areas. It isn’t a highway, but has higher speed limits and more traffic than a typical road. Additionally, unlike a highway, it has businesses, parking lots, sidewalks and crosswalks. In fact, many of these dangerous roads are similar to 25, such as Merrick Rd, Wicks Rd, Middle Country Rd, Hempstead Turnpike and 110. Therefore, these are the kinds of roads drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike should be extra careful.

Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Never use your phone while driving – eliminate all distractions as these types of roads require the most focus
  • Observe the speed limit – these high activity roads are hectic enough, makes you unprepared for unexpected stops or pedestrians.
  • Don’t tailgate – cars will often be slowing down to make turns into a business parking lot so having a safe breaking distance is vital
  • Slow down and be observant at shopping centers – these areas are high activity, and many cars slow down to turn into them. Additionally pedestrians could be walking around.
  • Be extremely careful when passing a bicycle
  • Slow down at every crosswalk
  • Slow down at bus stops – Sometimes pedestrians will run across the street to get to a bus stop.
  • Use caution at middle lanes – Some of these roads have merging lanes in between the flows of traffic to allow cars to enter or exit a business or parking lot safely. Don’t use them to pass other cars, be very careful when merging back into the main road and don’t merge into these lanes to get into a turning lane faster.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Make yourself predictable for motorists by riding with the flow of traffic, by staying on the right side of the road and by not weaving in and out of parked vehicles.
  • Avoid wearing headphones – you lose your ability to hear approaching vehicles.
  • Slow down and check for traffic before entering an intersection or street
  • Avoid these roads if possible – If at all possible, avoid riding on these roads. They are very chaotic and very dangerous for bicyclists.
  • Ride defensively – even if you have the right away, some drivers don’t know how to share the road with bicycles.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Always walk on sidewalks – if no sidewalk is present, walk against the flow of traffic
  • Use crosswalks when crossing the street – keep your eyes on the road as you cross
  • Avoid looking at your phone especially when walking in parking lots or crossing the street
  • Refrain from wearing headphones

About the Author

Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.

His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.