Slamming on your brakes to avoid a red light runner can rattle your nerves, but other than confiding in a friend once you arrive safely at your destination, what can you do? In New York City, that question is no longer rhetorical.

According to a report in The Atlantic Cities, Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group based in New York, wants to know about near misses on the streets of NYC. Why wait, after all, until unsafe road conditions result in traffic-snarling accidents that can bring costly repair bills and worse, injuries and even deaths?

The website CRASH stories NYC -- which states that less than one in 200 of the nearly 80,000 crashes that happen annually in New York City are investigated by the NYPD -- invites citizens to map and describe near miss incidents involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. The site is an effort to compile additional crash reporting data, and potentially influence the flow of infrastructure dollars towards the areas that need it most.

Jennifer So Godzeno, associate director for community research at Transportation Alternatives summed up the rationale for the site to The Atlantic Cities: "I’ve heard from so many citizens that ‘I see people almost get hit here all the time, and how come we have to wait until somebody gets killed in order to fix it?’"

Image courtesy of Crashstories.org.