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Accidents on Long Island.
February 18, 2009 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Accidents on Long Island, a photogallery.
posted by R. Mutt (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I don't even understand how the accident in photo 13 happened. It looks like the pole fell from the sky and pierced the car.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:06 AM on February 18, 2009


Ogrish for cars
posted by DU at 7:08 AM on February 18, 2009


I don't even understand how the accident in photo 13 happened

I'm familiar with that intersection, and saw the article when the accident happened, but still can't quite work out how it happened. Best I can guess, he was going around the bend from Foxhurst onto Old Country Road, cut it too close, flipped onto the curb, and was stopped from rolling over by the poles. That would have to be one hell of a perfect storm, though.

Image 6, though, I'm assuming was just pranksters who carried it into the water.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:18 AM on February 18, 2009


Without some sort of context, this just feels like internet gawking.

the point of the post?
posted by HuronBob at 7:24 AM on February 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's nice that the Algonquin Medical Center now lets you keep your weapons.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:28 AM on February 18, 2009


No. 30 was almost certainly speeding excessively.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 7:31 AM on February 18, 2009


the point of the post?

It's the odious consequences of those nasty, nasty iced teas.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:35 AM on February 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I really don't want to leave the house now.

Weirdest accident I ever saw was on Coldwater Canyon in LA... I still am puzzled by the memory. Traffic was backed up and crawling along, and when I finally got to the accident scene, there were two cars, and one was laying directly on top of the other, perpendicularly.

Thing is, Coldwater is a two lane road and this accident scene wasn't located near a side street. So... I just kept staring and wondering how the hell that car jumped up there. I really just couldn't imagine what happened in the accident to create that aftermath. It looked like it had leaped from someone's roof. I can't exactly picture someone backing out of their driveway and just ending up on top of another car like that. I'm still confused.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:38 AM on February 18, 2009


Maybe the point of this post is to scare me away from the driver's seat. Mission accomplished!
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 7:38 AM on February 18, 2009


the point of the post?

To help us appreciate the work of safety engineers who design vehicles to sacrifice themselves instead of their occupants and of the first responders who have to deal with these accidents on a daily basis. At least that's what it did for me. Thanks for the post.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:41 AM on February 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


My first thought was Palsgraf:
A passenger carrying a package, while hurrying to catch and board a moving Long Island Rail Road train, appeared to two of the railroad's (Defendant's) employees to be falling. The employees were guards, one of whom was located on the car, the other of whom was located on the platform. The guard on the car attempted to pull the passenger into the car and the guard on the platform attempted to push him into the car from behind. The guards' efforts to aid the passenger caused the package the passenger was holding to fall on the rails. Unbeknownst to the guards, the package, which was approximately fifteen inches long and wrapped in newspaper, contained fireworks, and the package exploded when it hit the rails. The shock reportedly knocked down scales at the other end of the platform ... which injured Mrs. Helen Palsgraf (Plaintiff). Palsgraf sued the railroad, claiming her injury resulted from negligent acts of the employee.

posted by exogenous at 7:46 AM on February 18, 2009


No. 30 was almost certainly speeding excessively.

Safe bet that #22 was as well. (How fast do you have to be going for a 3-ft-diameter tree to end up between the two front seats?)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:56 AM on February 18, 2009


It's nice to be able to ride the subway instead of getting into a car after seeing these.
posted by rmless at 7:56 AM on February 18, 2009


We moved to Long Island from Philadelphia about a year ago. The first thing we noticed was how aggressively people drove in their expensive cars (check the Lamborghini in #134). We were used to city driving - grid layouts, one way streets, stop signs and lights everywhere, tons of bikes and pedestrians. So we were used to a slower pace where you are constantly on the lookout. None of that applies here.

Regarding image 13, cars do crazy, crazy things at high speeds. There is so much energy involved that phone poles and trees can act like razors when you catch them at the wrong angle. You can't underestimate the consequences of a momentary lapse in concentration at even 30 mph.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2009


Ha, I know that fence from picture #1! the fence is still down.

there is, if anyone's wondering, a hefty bar scene in huntington right near there and a lot of drunk driving on that street.
posted by shmegegge at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2009


My dad did all of the family car repairs when I was a kid to keep our financial head above water. He would occasionally take me to the junkyard to look for spare parts. The lot in my town was just down the street from the Wal-Mart and covered a few acres with rows and rows of vehicles smashed, smushed, and damaged beyond all hope of repair.

Some of the cars were like their own little crime scenes. There would be blood stains on the dashboard or soaked into the seats. Occasionally, there would be a chunk of hair danging from the windshield. I didn't notice any of this at first, but my dad pointed out the distinct brown stains and pretty soon I was seeing them all over the lot. It was like staring into a field of open coffins.

Seeing a picture like this however, gives me hope that not every car that I saw was the site of someone's death and that a lot of those bloodstains were from people who managed to walk away.
posted by Alison at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


The first thing we noticed was how aggressively people drove

I have been honked at on the LIE while keeping pace with the car in front of me because I wasn't tailgating.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:02 AM on February 18, 2009


(In the right lane. At rush hour. When traffic was moving at 35mph.)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:03 AM on February 18, 2009


the point of the post?

Long Island is a death trap.
posted by swift at 8:05 AM on February 18, 2009


Long Island is a death trap.
It's a suicide rap,
We gotta get out while we're young.

Which I did, in 1975.
posted by tommasz at 8:08 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conclusion: Long Island sure has a lot of mini bus accidents. (I count at least 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
posted by sararah at 8:09 AM on February 18, 2009


No Billy Joel?
posted by davebush at 8:15 AM on February 18, 2009


We moved to Long Island from Philadelphia about a year ago.

So sorry to hear this, my condolences. My SIL and BIL have both passed away. While I feel bad for my wife, this means that our trips to LI are very few and far between, which is just the way I like it.
posted by fixedgear at 8:17 AM on February 18, 2009


I drove a tow truck for a short time a few years back. I saw a lot of this type of stuff, as we were contracted with the local PDs. But by the time we got there, the ambulances were gone and nobody was on the scene except police. I can remember the smell of airbags distinctly, like a nasty chemical smell. Not sure why they smell like that, but they all do. But these accidents look about the same as the ones I saw, and probably Long Island isn't that different from the Bay Area, CA. At least I wasn't an insurance claims adjuster.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:19 AM on February 18, 2009


The airbag smell is the sodium azide used to inflate the bags within milliseconds of deceleration detection. I did some auto safety airbag testing in grad school - it was truly terrifying to see one of these things inflate in person for the first time.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 8:24 AM on February 18, 2009


The first thing we noticed was how aggressively people drove in their expensive cars

I'm surprised you didn't notice how stupidly people drive here, first. I've spent my entire life on Long Island, with stints in Jersey and Brooklyn. What I've learned about Long Island driving is the following:

1. It is the worst place to drive in the western world. If you ever get a chance to read the massive, intimidating biography of Robert Moses The Power Broker, you'll discover that, through sheer hubris and general douchebaggery, Moses has condemned Long Island forever to the worst traffic in America, beyond any hope of repair. The Morning drive west on the LIE is like God's private experiment to locate that point where patience all of a sudden flips and becomes homicidal rage.

2. People from New Jersey drive like maniacs, but people from Long Island drive like idiots. What I mean is that the driving in Jersey is far more aggressive, almost suicidally so. The term outside Jersey for shifting suddenly across 4 lanes of traffic with no regard for other drivers is "The Jersey Slide." There's a reason for the name. On the other side of NYC, you've got a sort of reverse situation. The Island is 118 miles long, (America's longest contiguous Island) and many drivers will be forced to drive a significant portion of that distance on one over-crowded highway of the three over-crowded highways they can choose from. Often enough, these highways will have extended sections with only two lanes per direction, and every time you get to that section it is a virtual guarantee that some dickhole will be matching pace in the left lane with the car in the right lane, preventing anyone from using the left lane to pass. They will do this for 40 miles.

3. There is no escaping the traffic. If you live on or near the North Shore, you can hop on the good ol' Jericho Turnpike instead of the LIE or Northern State, but rest assured someone has thought of that and made sure that the Jericho Turnpike stop lights will catch you at every single intersection. And frankly, it and every other non-highway road on the island are also packed full of people desperately trying to find the mythical (as in, not real) trick to navigating this island's horrific roadways efficiently.

I know driving is worse in places where massive throngs of destitute pedestrians or shepherds' flocks or whatever will simply block the road and refuse to let you pass. I know this. But outside of that, nothing is worse than driving on Long Island. I haven't even scratched the surface of how bad it is, here.
posted by shmegegge at 8:33 AM on February 18, 2009 [13 favorites]


shmegegge nailed it. Visitors to LI, beware.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:39 AM on February 18, 2009


New Yorkers are the worst drivers on earth. And this is coming from someone who grew up and learned to drive in Massachusetts, where we are not exactly reknowned for our safety-conscious habits. I still get a cold chill when I see a NY license plate. shmegegge has it exactly right -- MA drivers are somewhat aggressive and scary, but on the whole attentive and very conscious of what's going on around them. We'll let people break the right-of-way rules in a heartbeat if it makes sense in context. NY drivers have all the aggression and none of the awareness. I bet every one of those crash victims was very surprised to suddenly (and briefly) see a pole / train / body of water in front of them that they didn't even know was nearby.
posted by rusty at 8:47 AM on February 18, 2009


It is the worst place to drive in the western world.

I haven't driven on LI since the late 90s, but:

Toronto is worse.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:49 AM on February 18, 2009


Oh yeah, these pictures bring back fond memories of the summer I worked in the junkyard. Good god, there was some horrifying shit. Like the infant car seat that was in a car. Marked biohazard. Ugh.
posted by sperose at 8:54 AM on February 18, 2009


I'm going to be honest; I'm not trying to be an apologist. The traffic can be horrendous here. Awful. But I've managed to--at least most of the time--come to peace with it. People do many, many stupid things, yes, but these stupid things are, at least 85% of the time, entirely predictable. Everyone's got a tell. I can look around me in traffic and tell you exactly which cars are going to change lanes without warning and, usually, when. I can often tell you who's going to stomp on the brakes and do the aforementioned Jersey Slide to avoid going half a mile out of their way. I can nearly always tell you who's going to decide they have enough space to merge from a dead stop when they clearly don't.

Sometimes I get frustrated, sure. But most of the time, just knowing exactly how the commute is going to go makes it a lot easier. I am almost never surprised on the highway anymore. Some gnarly commutes are actually pretty peaceful.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:00 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not all New Yorkers drive the same. Compare:

Long Island drivers --> Stupid
Brooklyn drivers --> Inconsiderate
Manhattan drivers --> Desperate
Westchester drivers --> Rushed
posted by swift at 9:03 AM on February 18, 2009


People do many, many stupid things, yes, but these stupid things are, at least 85% of the time, entirely predictable. Everyone's got a tell.

This absolutely true. I think this is a thing you pick up driving around here, much how athletes develop a sixth sense for their opponent from constant drilling and grueling practice. I've surprised out of state friends before by being like "just be aware, that guy next to you is gonna shove over here abruptly in a second."
posted by shmegegge at 9:06 AM on February 18, 2009


Best of the Web?
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 9:06 AM on February 18, 2009


Urban driving is worse than rural, larger cities are worse than smaller, east coast is worse than west coast, large immigrant or minority population is worse than homogeneous population, older cities are worse than newer.

All this points to NY metro and NJ as being the worse in North America (assuming Mexico City is not included). Probably no debate here other than second and third place.
posted by stbalbach at 9:09 AM on February 18, 2009


Lethal Island Expressway! Am I right? Am I right?
posted by orme at 9:14 AM on February 18, 2009


#126.. whew!
posted by stbalbach at 9:16 AM on February 18, 2009


This is bringing back nasty Red Asphalt flashbacks from high school. For god's sake, people, let's be careful out there.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:19 AM on February 18, 2009


Looking at these remind me of what happened to my friend while he was working on his van. Basically his house had a very steep driveway and he was working on his van on day went to get something out of his truck the van shifted out of gear rolled down his driveway and shut the door of the truck on his leg. He was home alone at the time so it took about 1/2 hour before he could get any attention but when the police came and opened the door up he was perfectly fine. Here are some of the pictures.
posted by lilkeith07 at 9:19 AM on February 18, 2009


#140 .. worst parking fail.
posted by stbalbach at 9:22 AM on February 18, 2009


Surprised so many fellow Long Islanders are here.

Here-here to the odiousness of the LIE. My girlfriend and I carpool mainly to get access to the HOV. On days one of us is sick, the ride in is unendurable. If it wasn't for our arrangement, I'm sure I would have killed someone in an act of road rage.
posted by Edgewise at 9:25 AM on February 18, 2009


That's it, I'm never leaving my closet now.
posted by mazola at 9:35 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not the aggresiveness that bothers me; I'm used to that. What bothers me is the inattention.

One (nonlethal) example is the way people pull up at a stop light and leave lots of space in front of their car. Then, during the red light, as they have a moment's lull in their cell-phone conversation, they pull up a few more feet. Then a couple more. And so on. Why can't they just pull up and stop within a few feet of the car in front of them? Would that be so hard?
posted by asusu at 10:09 AM on February 18, 2009


A few years ago, two kids who were racing a corvette and a mercedes coupe on 107 in Muttontown clipped a couple in a jeep, killing them both. My stepbrother who had a plumbing job at the home of one of the kids involved heard him boast that his father "made that problem go away" and detailed his vacation plans to go to Greece for the olympics.

I only wish that LI had a preserve to keep these douches away from the rest of us.
posted by dr_dank at 10:27 AM on February 18, 2009


uncleozzy: why? the caption says it was near a boat ramp. (people have been known to drive off boat ramps and their cars end up in the water about like that)
posted by rmd1023 at 10:28 AM on February 18, 2009


well I grew up in New Jersey but I never saw the 'jersey slide' until I moved to California. this may be due to the fact that I learned to drive in far-north boondock NJ, but DAMN Californians are pathetic drivers in any sort of bad weather, they either continue to drive like their usual excessive-speed-multi-lane-change-inattentive selves, or turn into nervous grandmothers driving 20mph on the freeway.
posted by supermedusa at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2009


That's the saddest one of all. Poor little Smart car.
Some kids probably stole it and dumped it there.
Just to get their sick thrills.
posted by Flashman at 11:02 AM on February 18, 2009


dr_dank: I only wish that LI had a preserve to keep these douches away from the rest of us.

I think you've misunderstood what Long Island is.
posted by rusty at 11:03 AM on February 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


rusty;I think you've misunderstood what Long Island is.

Once my spray tan dries, we'll settle this in person. Any mall, any time punk.
posted by dr_dank at 11:18 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


uncleozzy: why? the caption says it was near a boat ramp

Isn't it much more fun to imagine a gang of hooligans heaving the car into the water?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2009


I think #93 just wanted to play!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:45 AM on February 18, 2009


shmegegge: " It is the worst place to drive in the western world. If you ever get a chance to read the massive, intimidating biography of Robert Moses The Power Broker, you'll discover that, through sheer hubris and general douchebaggery, Moses has condemned Long Island forever to the worst traffic in America, beyond any hope of repair. The Morning drive west on the LIE is like God's private experiment to locate that point where patience all of a sudden flips and becomes homicidal rage."

When I was growing up in Melville, my father's commute to his office in New York City was something like 90 minutes each way.

Thanks for everything you did for us, Dad.

[I asked him once about the Utopia Parkway, whose exit sign we often passed, but which I had never been on. "It doesn't live up to its billing," he said with a wink.]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:55 AM on February 18, 2009


there is, if anyone's wondering, a hefty bar scene in huntington right near there and a lot of drunk driving on that street.

I live half a mile away from it! My road is a drag strip after midnight. Occasionally things like this happen.

I just moved here and all the LI insults are giving me a complex :(
posted by makonan at 12:04 PM on February 18, 2009


I just moved here and all the LI insults are giving me a complex :(

You want insults? Try being from Los Angeles.

Worst of all, sometimes we're even forced to take your rejects.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:44 PM on February 18, 2009


It is the worst place to drive in the western world

I invite you to spend a rainy day driving in Los Angeles (preferably going over the Sepulveda pass.)

I am not going to defend Long Island drivers but as a Long Island native and a resident of L.A., there is no way you're going to convince me that Long Island drivers are worse than L.A. drivers. There are at least two reasons:

1. Long Island has a public transportation alternative (LIRR). L.A. doesn't (Yes, I know that, technically speaking, it does, but it really doesn't).
2. L.A. drivers have no idea how to drive in the rain. ("Omigod. Water falling from the sky! What can it mean?!?")

And I also suspect that we have more than our fair share of idiots on the phone.

Also, if you enjoyed the photo gallery of accidents, you might want to check out Newsday's mug shots as well.
posted by cjets at 2:20 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think there are many worse places to drive than LA on a whole (Rome, Cairo, Bangkok, New York, etc.), but I will agree that in the rain and -- even worse -- the first day of Daylight Savings people here suddenly have no freaking clue what to do. You would think the sky was falling the way the first sign of early darkness confuses people here... it's like aliens have invaded and people suddenly aren't sure how to drive home from work anymore even though they did it fine the day before. Drives me nuts.

But that said, I must commend people here for ALWAYS using quick reflexes to pull over immediately the *second* they hear an emergency vehicle in the vicinity. This is something people in San Francisco don't seem to have the hang of, which became *such* a major pet peeve of mine. Really not cool, SF. I know the streets are small, that you don't want to dent your new hybrid, and that you're late to your NFP job, but imagine you're in that ambulance and MOVE THE HELL OVER.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:47 PM on February 18, 2009


Thirty years ago, someone warned me about any driver wearing a hat behind the wheel. He's still right.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:54 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


George Carlin, yes?
posted by bloomicy at 3:35 PM on February 18, 2009


Oh, and good lord all these were just in the last 3 1/2 months. I'm so glad I got the hell out of there.
posted by bloomicy at 3:39 PM on February 18, 2009


in RI there's the "RI left turn". if you want make a left to a side road, you start about 100 yards before the intersection, cut the corner close so you are on the wrong side of 2 roads. on-coming drivers expect this.

you can't use turn signals; following drivers pull up into your blind spot and hover.

oh, and people with House and Senate license plates are exempt from traffic and parking regs. and common courtersy.

[i don't live there now]
posted by lemuel at 4:36 PM on February 18, 2009


All you people trying to link to individual pictures: it didn't work, the link only takes you to picture #1.
posted by marble at 5:23 PM on February 18, 2009


You want insults? Try being from Los Angeles.

Try being from north dakota and living in los angeles. Damn.

People can't drive in ND either, but at least they can handle a little weather. People here seem to think the world is ending whenever there's anything other than sun.
posted by flaterik at 11:21 PM on February 18, 2009


People in LA drive better than LI. I promise. I moved from one to the other. I won't hold rainy driving against Angelinos. When it rains there, the road may as well have ice, it gets that slippery. I don't say that lightly, I learned to drive in a Michigan winter.
posted by Goofyy at 6:36 AM on February 19, 2009


You have a point. It's awfully easy to hydroplane. I thought it was that way everywhere in the rain, though.

Try being from north dakota and living in los angeles. Damn.

In my 20s in LA, every time I met someone and they said they were from the midwest I remember thinking it was such a funny reply to go "Oh, I'm sorry!" Ha ha ha. Wasn't until I had the experience of being a Southern Californian living in the Bay area that it finally clicked and I finally understood... it wasn't funny. Not at all. I was just being assy and superior and alienating nice people who had every reason to be perfectly proud of where they came from.

Now that I've been on the other end of that treatment, I almost overcompensate with interest and warmth now when I meet Midwesterners. It's almost like I'm doing penance for previous sins and hoping for collective forgiveness for having been so rude before. Biiiig lesson learned.

Never put people down for where they're from.* They may love it.

*Unless you're from there too. Then it's okay. Kinda like how it's okay to hate your brother but it's not okay if someone else says he's a jerk without even knowing him.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:27 AM on February 19, 2009


Actually I should've taken that "they may love it" part out. It really doesn't matter if they do or not, they'll still feel insulted.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:30 AM on February 19, 2009


There is no escaping the traffic. If you live on or near the North Shore, you can hop on the good ol' Jericho Turnpike instead of the LIE or Northern State, but rest assured someone has thought of that and made sure that the Jericho Turnpike stop lights will catch you at every single intersection.

Another problem with Jericho Turnpike is the many little stores jammed alongside, so that drivers are constantly trying to pull into or out of parking lots and acting as if theydon't see any cars. Jericho would make a field study for any traffic management student.
On any given block, you've got people, often in the wrong lanes, trying to pull into the parking lot of that cute little deli, which is EXACTLY like the 25 other delis they've driven past and could have gotten to with no problem. And another thing: I thought I was crazy when I first came to Long Island and thought I was the only one who noticed this, until talking to colleagues at work who had also moved her from other states. Long Island drivers, waiting in those parking lots I mentioned, will often wait a while after a car goes by; there's no one else in the lane, but they'll wait and wait and wait until your car is 10 feet from the entrance and then they'll pull out right in front of you, often blocking the lanes while they wait for clearance in the traffic going the opposite direction. Why they wait, I don't know.
posted by etaoin at 12:15 PM on February 19, 2009


Wasn't until I had the experience of being a Southern Californian living in the Bay area that it finally clicked and I finally understood... it wasn't funny. Not at all.

Yeah. I got the "I'm sorry hahaha" thing for a while in LA about north dakota, and just when i got used to that, I started going to SF and got the same reaction about living in LA.

*facepalm*

I'm not sorry that I'm from North Dakota, or that I live in LA. You shouldn't be either.

To keep vaguely on topic, I think norcal drivers are MUCH worse than socal. I am not a fan of driving in SF.
posted by flaterik at 1:22 PM on February 19, 2009


hats
It could have come come from George Carlin originally; I got it from one of those guys who's on the line between genius and RFC*. He stole a lot of material.

If you live anywhere long enough, you get an intuitive feel for what drivers look like when they are about to do something stupid. You can see them coming a long ways off. The SO cannot do this, and always gets pissy when I mention that trouble is coming, and then even pissier when it gets there because they'd been warned. It seems to be a local-specific bahavior.

*Real F'g Crazy
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:47 AM on February 25, 2009


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