Between 2005 and 2019, there were 44 fatal traffic accidents in the town of Melville and its immediate perimeter. The majority of these crashes occurred along the I-495 corridor, including the freeway itself. Most of these accidents involved multiple vehicles; alcohol was a factor in a few cases, and victims included pedestrians and cyclists as well as motor vehicle occupants.
All of them claimed at least one life.
Accidents in Melville proper account for a relatively small percentage of motor vehicle mishaps in Suffolk County; outside the town boundaries, Conklin Road and Long Island Road saw a high number of fatal car crashes during the time period in question, particularly at certain intersections.
While some of these were caused by intoxicated drivers, most traffic accidents, especially at intersections, occur for one of three reasons:
- Failure to follow traffic laws and obey signs
- Distracted driving (including smartphone usage while in motion)
- Traveling too fast for road and weather conditions
Most accidents could be avoided if motorists would avoid the aforementioned conditions, keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road ahead.
What follows is a short survey of intersections in Melville and adjacent areas of Suffolk County that have seen serious motor vehicle accidents over the past several years.
Conklin Street and Broad Hollow Road
This intersection saw two fatal accidents during the survey period. The first was a single car accident, occurring just after midnight on the morning of June 13th, 2010. The second, also a single-car crash, happened at 10:45 PM on the night of July 22nd, 2019.
Conklin Street and New Highway
On March 19th, 2013 at five AM, another motorist was killed while operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Long Island Avenue at Wellwood
A two-car crash took place on the evening of January 24, 2012, at 7:43 PM. The driver responsible was intoxicated, and there was one fatality.
At 11:15 PM on the night of July 23rd, 2016, two drunk drivers collided just south of the intersection, resulting in one fatality.
Long Island Avenue at Straight Path
A pedestrian was killed at 8:30 PM on the night of October 4th, 2015 by a motor vehicle. A second pedestrian was killed at the same intersection less than two years later on the morning of September 6th at 6:05 AM.
Long Island Avenue at Doe Street
The afternoon of August 27th, 2014 saw a three-way accident at this intersection only a block east of the intersection of Straight Path, claiming one life.
Long Island Avenue at South 18th Street
On May 22nd, 2006, the driver of a motor vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian at 7:25 in the morning.
Why Are Intersections So Dangerous?
The Federal Highway Administration reports that over 20 percent of fatal car accidents happen at intersections, making them hazardous for motorists and pedestrians alike. Aside from the reasons cited above, there are numerous things that can go wrong at an intersection, especially when people are distracted or intoxicated, and at times of heavy traffic (i.e., rush hour). Impatience and stress can lead drivers to run red lights and make improper turns, or even attempt lane changes in the middle of the intersection.
It goes without saying that extra caution is called for when approaching any intersection, whether you are a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian.
If You Are an Accident Victim
If you are a motorist involved in an accident and are uninjured enough to move on your own, it is important to keep a clear head. The first hours following a collision are the most important not only vital to your own long-term recovery but also in establishing and pursuing your claim.
Once you know you are able to move around and exit the vehicle, the first job is to check others for injuries and call 911. If the accident was minor, get the vehicles out and away from traffic; otherwise, put out flares and/or safety warning cones and secure the accident scene to the best of your ability.
Further steps include:
Calling the Police
Insurance companies will want to look at a police report, as this will add tremendous credibility when you file your claim. Without an official police report, insurers will get suspicious and getting a settlement will be more difficult.
Document the Accident Scene
If you can, take photos or videos of the accident as soon as possible. Legally, everyone involved in the accident is required to remain at the scene until the police have finished with interviews. However, some may attempt to drive off, especially if they were liable and/or uninsured—so make certain you have pictures of license plates. These photos will also help to prove your claim.
Exchange Contact and Insurance Information
New York is a “no-fault” state when it comes to injuries, meaning that each party’s insurer covers their own insured’s injuries. You may be able to pursue the other party’s insurance company for property loss and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of quality of life.
What Not to Do
Under no circumstances should you apologize or otherwise admit to being responsible for the accident. Insurance companies will use any excuse to reduce their exposure by minimizing their offered settlement or denying a claim altogether.
By the same token, do not sign any paperwork an insurer may provide until an accident attorney has had the opportunity to examine it.
Call Cellino Law Today
Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury cases, especially motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence, contact the experienced litigators at Cellio Law at the earliest opportunity. Our people are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no upfront costs for clients we represent; if we fail to win you a settlement, you pay nothing.
Keep in mind that personal injury claims have a statute of limitations, the time period within which you must file or lose your right to do so. In New York, this runs for two years from the date of the accident, so call Cellino Law today.