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Near-Miss Car Accidents Can Reveal Unsafe Streets

Why should we care about motor vehicle crashes that almost happen but don't? After all, no one is hurt in near-miss car accidents. The police certainly don't care; they seldom even write citations for accidents that actually did happen. However, we should care about these non-accidents, as they are indicators of unsafe streets where real crashes are likely to occur.

Anecdotal reports about bad intersections and misleading signage are ignored by city officials. There is no official near-miss and minor accident data available to city planners. So the city must wait until serious accidents occur before addressing structural problems that lead to crashes.

One person is trying to correct this. A Hunter College student has developed a website to show where crash-causing problems exist. Called Crash Stories, the website provides a way for individuals who witness near misses and actual car accidents to tell their stories and create a map that shows where the incidents occur.

What Kind of Near-Miss Accidents Should Be Reported?

The categories of accidents to be reported on the website are:

  • Cyclist and motor vehicle
  • Pedestrian and motor vehicle
  • Two motor vehicles

If you witnessed a near-miss or minor car accident, take the time to record it and make the streets of New York safer for all. Visit the website and help prevent motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents in New York City.