New York Route 303 was closed for four hours earlier this week after a 58-year-old New Milford caused a car accident north of Executive Boulevard. The woman sustained serious injuries on Tuesday when she crossed into the opposing lane of traffic and crashed into a Budget rental truck.
Witnesses said the woman was driving northbound around three in the afternoon when her vehicle crossed over the double-yellow lines and side-swiped the rental truck, totaling her Buick.
The woman was temporarily stuck in her vehicle following the accident. Volunteer firefighters from Valley Cottage were called out to remove her and she taken to a local hospital.
The rental truck was driven by a 43-year-old man from Newburgh. As a result of the accident, he has hip and leg injuries.
No charges have yet been filed for the car accident, nor have any tickets been issued.
Sideswipe accidents belong to a category of car accidents called roadway departures. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), accidents caused by roadway departure account for fifty three percent of fatal crashes nationwide. The average cost of lane departure accidents is $209,000 where serious injury is involved and $3,000,000 when the accident results in fatality.
According to the FHWA, the primary factors leading to lane departure accidents are inattentive or fatigued drivers, illegal driver action leading to loss of control, unbelted drivers and passengers, roadway curves, night conditions, and roadside obstructions such as trees and utility poles.
Roadway departure can be decreased by careful roadway design and by practicing safe driving habits.
Source: lohud.com, "New Jersey woman seriously injured in Rt. 303 crash," James O'Rourke, 4 Jan 2011.