New York ranks as the third safest state in the nation for drivers, according to a study released this month.
Only Massachusetts and Rhode Island receive higher grades in an analysis of federal data from the Safewise, a home security company that studies a variety of public safety issues.
But one reason New York scored higher marks than 47 other states typically puts frowns on the faces of many motorists. Data shows that traffic congestion in many parts of the state often prevents drivers fromtraveling at high speeds.
“New York has the third slowest average speed limit and we found that slower speed limits correlate with fewer speeding fatalities,” said Sarah Brown, a community outreach specialist at Safewise.
The company analyzed data released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, correlating the information with statistics involving speeding, distracted driving and drunken driving.
Brown told WBFO another factor contributing to New York's positive ranking is that the average age of drivers is 38.2 years, which is higher than the average age in many other states.
“What comes into that is that there are fewer kids, which are distractions in cars, and there are a lot more business people commuting,” she said.
New York also fared well when it comes to drunk driving-related incidents, the data showed.
However, distracted driving remains a significant problem in New York and many other states.
The study ranks North Dakota and New Mexico as the most dangerous states for people who are behind the wheel.
National statistics for crash-related deaths should send a warning sign to motorists, some experts said.
“Over the past few years, fatal crash statistics have increased substantially,” said Robert Dillman, owner and lead instructor of the Georgia-based NEVO Driving Academy. “According to data released by the National Safety Council, in 2016, the United States reached a 10 year peak in crash related fatalities. With regards to traffic and driver safety, from 2013 to present, we are trending in the wrong direction.”