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A Health & Car Accident Snapshot for Ulster, Dutchess & Orange Counties in 2023

Ulster County, Dutchess County and Orange County, NY are great places to live. Both have their own charms, histories, and environments; but as personal injury attorneys, we’re curious about how safe they are compared to the rest of the state, and the country as a whole.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at nine different metrics that reflect the well-being of Ulster and Dutchess County. From premature deaths to traffic volume, each metric is a piece of the puzzle that paints a picture of the community’s health and safety. We’ll not only explore the numbers but also draw the connections between these metrics and the world of personal injury law.

The metrics come from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps of the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.

1. Years Lost to Premature Death 

Ulster County: 6,500
Dutchess County, 6,200
Orange County: 6,300
New York State: 6,000
United States: 7,300
(Before Age 75, per 100,000)

Premature deaths, as measured in this study, represent the Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) before reaching the age of 75 per 100,000 population, and the data used for this metric spans from 2018 to 2020. This is an important measure that directs attention toward deaths that, in many cases, could have been prevented. Rather than focusing on overall mortality rates, YPLL emphasizes the significance of deaths occurring at a younger age, emphasizing the potential years of life lost due to preventable causes. For instance, a death at age 55 is weighted twice as heavily as a death at age 65, while a death at age 35 carries eight times the weight of a death at age 70 in the YPLL calculation.

This metric is similar to how insurance companies and courts will weigh the age of a personal injury victim; if someone is younger, and losing more years of life, then it may necessitate a larger financial award.

2. Poor Mental Health Days 

Ulster County: 4.4
Dutchess County: 4.6
Orange County: 4.8
New York State: 4.1
United States: 4.4
(Average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in past 30 days)

Understanding how well people live is a vital component of health-related quality of life, and poor mental health days provide a window into this aspect. It is a measure that goes beyond the length of life, emphasizing the overall well-being of a population. Reliability is high in self-reporting these healthy days, ensuring the accuracy of this metric.

The number of poor mental health days can influence decision-making, reactions, and interactions, which can, in turn, affect the risk of accidents and incidents leading to personal injury cases. In a past blog post, we relayed that the New York Times reported on a correlation between unhappiness and an increased number of car crashes.

3. Alcohol Impaired Driving Deaths

Ulster County: 19%
Dutchess County: 17%
Orange County: 26%
New York: 20%
United States: 27%
(Percentage of driving deaths with alcohol involvement)

Alcohol impairs cognitive functions, impacting an individual’s ability to think, reason, and coordinate muscles – essential skills for safe driving. When we shift our focus to Ulster and Dutchess Counties, we find the encouraging news that both counties have percentages significantly lower than the national average for alcohol-impaired driving deaths. However, Orange County is significantly higher than New York State as a whole.

This achievement reflects a proactive approach to alcohol safety and underscores the importance of community efforts to prevent alcohol-related accidents.

4. Long Commute – Driving Alone

Ulster County: 40%
Dutchess County: 43%
Orange County: 45%
New York: 39%
United States: 37%
(Among workers who commute in their car alone, the percentage that commute more than 30 minutes.)

Research has linked longer commutes to higher blood pressure, increased body mass index (BMI), and reduced physical activity. Additionally, lengthy commutes have been associated with poorer mental health and mental health days. For Ulster, Dutchess and Orange counties, this data shows some of the daily challenges faced by residents. 

5. Life Expectancy 

Ulster County: 79.7
Dutchess County: 80.1
Orange County: 79.5
New York: 80.3
United States: 78.5

All four areas—Ulster County, Dutchess County, New York State, and the United States as a whole—report fairly similar life expectancy figures. This means that location is not a huge factor in determining what an average life expectancy will be for a local resident.

6. Child Mortality

Ulster County: 40
Dutchess County: 40
Orange County: 30
New York: 40
United States: 50
(Number of deaths among residents under age 18 per 100,000 population.)

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the top causes of child mortality are firearm related injury, motor vehicle crash, drowning, drug overdose, and suffocation.

Thankfully, across Ulster, Dutchess and Orange Counties, and New York State, our child mortality is significantly less than the national average. It is very important to note that when you have children on your property, children are owed a greater duty of care than adults.

7. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Ulster County: 9
Dutchess County: 8
Orange County: 8
New York: 6
United States: 12
(Number of motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population.)

This is a very serious metric. It is heartening to know that Ulster and Dutchess County’s motor vehicle crash deaths are below the national average.

In 2020, we published a breakdown of how and where fatal crashes typically occur in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley. 

Some of the information we found was:

  • 42% of fatal rural car crashes involved speeding, while only 28% of urban crashes did
  • 20% of urban car crashes involved a pedestrian or cyclist, while 8% of rural crashes did
  • 21% of rural crashes involved a tree, while 9% of urban crashes did

Have you been injured in a car or motorcycle accident due to the fault of another party? Give us a call at 845-600-0000 to schedule a free personal injury consultation with our experienced legal team in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, NY.