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Study: What Causes Accidents on the TZ Bridge?

Tappan Zee Bridge document provides accident history, statistics from past four years

It may not be what Rockland residents or seasoned commuters would guess, but it's true: the majority of accidents on the Tappan Zee Bridge occur during clear, and not foul, weather.

Drivers now have access to data regarding car collisions and mishaps on the Tappan Zee Bridge, per the (FEIS).

The FEIS, thousands of pages in length, details a wealth of topics relating to the current span and the construction of a new Hudson corssing. In the chapter "Transportation," state officials outline car accident data tracked over the past several years.

According to the report, the Hudson span has two major "accident clusters," or areas on the crossing where collisions are most common. Those areas are between mileposts 13.7 and 14.2 on the west-bound side, and between mileposts 14.2 and 13.8 on the east-bound side.

"In the west-bound [cluster], the accident rate ranges from 2.8 to 3.7 times the national average," the study reads. "In the east-bound direction, the accident rate is greater than 5.2 times the statewide average."

The study notes these clusters are near segments where visibility is limited.

"This results in weaving movements [of cars passing one another] that create a greater potential for conflicts and an increase in accidents," the study notes.

The state document unpacks accident information between the years of 2008 and 2010, citing a total of 1,248 incidents. About 63-percent of those accidents occurred in the east-bound direction, or the lanes going from Rockland to Westchester.

"The steep grade on the bridge, sun glare and weaving maneuvers appear to be the cause of the higher rate for east-bound vehicles," officials write.

Only a handful of the 1,000-plus accidents entail injuries or deaths, according to statistics. About 80-percent of accidents only resulted in "property damage," meaning an automobile sustained over $1,000 worth of breakage.

Other statistics note most of the accidents occurred during clear weather and during daylight hours. Only a handful of the accidents occurred during rain, fog or snow.

The chapter also tackles man-made causes for accidents. Rear-ending is most common, followed by unsafe lane changing and then, in third, debris in the roadway.

Scotty August 09, 2012 at 12:10 AM
It's called "not paying attention". I've seen it all during my over 30 year commute on this bridge from Nyack to Westchester....and I'm still at it. I've actually witnessed the following.....texting, shaving and steering with knees, applying eyeshadow ( make up would have been bad but she was actually applying eyeshadow, EYES ?) , reading a rather large unfoldfed newspaper, and last but not least...a young man searching for something so important on the floor that he let go of the steering wheel altogether and slammed into the side wall of the concrete barrier. There were others but I got too upset thinking about them and stopped. Amazing...doesn't take a genius to figure it out.
AH August 09, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Also cell phones and people moving over 6-7 lanes by the ez pass lane to pay cash.
Mary August 09, 2012 at 09:20 AM
I wonder how much we paid for the "report".
Bob August 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Anyone who drives over the TZ on a regular basis knows that the speed limit is rarely or ever enforced. Speeding drivers and all those weavers are a danger to us all. Enforce the speed limit and accidents will be reduced. Bob
Mitch G August 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Another problem is that the trucks don't always follow the signs to use only the two right lanes. Not enough signs indicating the rule & what few they are on mounted too low along the road because the trucks block the sign. Regarding cars cutting across lanes at the toll booths because of e-z pass this is caused by the same problem not enough signs warning the driver of what is ahead. Also paint some nice lane lines at the toll booths.
Stewie August 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
So you think they would release an image/map of where on the bridge these locations are?? If I start looking for mile markers... I will be the next statistic.
Bart Gordon August 09, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Use Google Maps and pull the little guy down onto the bridge! MM 13.8 westbound is just past the beginning of the superstructure.
Stewie August 09, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Thanks Bart!

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