Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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15 people died and 5,450 were injured in 19,983 auto accidents in New York City in October. October is usually a bad month for car accidents in the city. As shown in the graphs below the total number of accidents was above the trend line in October.  The monthly number of traffic injuries was also the second highest number ever recorded in the city. The highest number of crash injuries was 5,557 last May. While the total number of crashes and related injuries have been steadily growing over the years, the number of people dying in crashes declined since 2013 when Vision Zero was launched. The number of people dying in car accidents went from 35 in October 2013 to 25 in October 2014, 26 in October 2015, 14 in October 2016 and 15 this last October. In 4 years fatal crashes declined by more than 50%. Additionally for the last two years the number of traffic deaths was below the trend line for the month of October while in the past it was always above it during this specific month.

car accidents injuries and deaths NYC October 2017
Despite all the Vision Zero efforts, crash injuries are on a rising trend.  Since last May their monthly number stayed above 5,000. Motorist injuries are the main cause of this rising trend. While in October 2013 motorist injuries accounted for less than a third of the total number of injuries, four years later they account for almost half of them. On the other hand, passenger injuries have been declining over the last four years. Distracted driving is suspected to be a factor. When drivers are alone in their cars they maybe more tempted to use their electronic equipment than when they travel with passengers.

crash injuries New York City October 2017
The number of monthly deadly crashes in New York City stayed below 25 for more than a year. It is the first time that the number of monthly fatal accidents stayed below 25 for that long. The highest number was 24 in June followed by 22 in September. The last time this number was above 25 was in June, 2016 when 29 people died in car accidents in the city. The city speed reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph may have been a factor in the recent decrease in fatal crashes.

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A 12 year old boy died in a fire accident in Queens, NYC. Thomas Curly was sleeping in his bedroom Sunday around 3:00 am when a fire erupted in the apartment he was living in with his family on Ocean Promenade near Beach 123rd Street in Rockaway Park. Thomas was living on the sixth floor of a five story building with his grandfather, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend. All of them were able to escape except for Thomas who got stuck in his bedroom. According to investigators, the fire was accidentally set by someone smoking in the apartment. Additionally there were no smoke alarms in the apartment. Smoke alarms are required by law in New York City. They may have saved the life of the young boy.

A few hours later another fire erupted in Harlem on First Ave near Tito Puente Way.  The fire ravaged an apartment on the seventh floor of a 32 story building. A 64 year old woman was found dead by the firefighters. Another victim was transported to the hospital. Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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accident scene3 pedestrians died and 6 were injured including 2 critically in 4 different motor vehicle accidents in New York City that all occurred early Sunday morning during the supermoon.

The first accident occurred on the Upper East Side at 2:00 am. A 29 year old pedestrian suffered severe head trauma after being hit by a car. According to the NY Daily News, the pedestrian was crossing First Avenue at the intersection of 82nd Street against the red light. He was hit by a vehicle that was crossing the intersection with the green light. The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital to be treated.

Two hours later, around 4:00 am a pedestrian was killed in a Queens crash. The 71 year old victim was attempting to cross the Belt Parkway near Farmers Blvd in Springfield Gardens when he was hit by a car. The man was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

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pedestrianIn Jacksonville, Florida, the police has been issuing hundreds of tickets to pedestrians.  Tickets are not only issued for jaywalking or crossing at the red light but also for crossing at the yellow light or “failing to cross the street at a right angle”.  The police also ticketed pedestrians because they were walking on the right side of the road instead of the left side when there were no sidewalks on both sides of the road. In other cases pedestrians were ticketed for walking on the road when a sidewalk was available.

A pedestrian ticket in itself is not such a big deal however if it is left unpaid it can damage a credit history or lead to a driver license suspension.

In a recent investigation ProPublica asked the sheriff why so many pedestrians were ticketed in Jacksonville. The sheriff replied that his city had one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country and that tickets were the best way  to save lives.

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According  to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) , 94% of serious auto accidents are due to dangerous choices or human errors. Recently developed driver assistance technologies are attempting to address these errors. As these technologies become more and more sophisticated they will ultimately lead to self-driving vehicles.

The NHTSA believes that self-driving vehicles will result in a drastic reduction of auto accident fatalities however we are not there yet. As of Today, the newest vehicles on the market are far from being fully automated but they do have technologies that prevent accidents due to human errors. These technologies can prevent forward collisions, help drivers while backing up and parking and assist them to detect blind spots or to stay in their lane. New technologies can also make sure drivers keep a safe distance in various situations such as driving in traffic jams or on highways.

The NTHSA and the DOT are expecting that vehicles will go through a technological evolution  that can be summarized in 6 steps until full automation:

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A cyclist died from his injury after he was struck by a car in New York City. The accident occurred on November 17 around 2:40 pm. 84 year old Yau-Teg Fung, of Queens was riding his bike on Albertson Street near Fleet Street when he collided with a car driven by an 80 year old woman. He suffered a massive head injury after being thrown off his bike. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries after 10 days of hospitalization. The police told the NY Daily News that the driver had stopped at a stop sign and she was in the intersection when the cyclist hit her rear door. No criminal charges were filed.

 

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3 people suffered personal injury in a bus accident in Manhattan on Wednesday morning. A double decker charter bus carrying tourists crashed into a box truck belonging to Pat La Frieda Meat Purveyors.  The impact caused the truck to rear-end a police car in front of it. The accident occurred around 8:50 am in front of the Richard Rodgers Theater on 46th street near 8th Ave. 3 people were transported to the hospital. One person suffered serious injury. The two others suffered minor injury. The bus belongs to City Sights Bus, a tour company offering hop and off bus tours to tourists.

Read more in the NY Daily News

 

 

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distracted-driving-can-cause-accidents-1Last year the number of fatal auto accidents reached a record high in the US. Despite unclear data, mobile devices are suspected to be a main factor in these accidents.

Mobile phone addiction is real and the consequences are deadly when people use their phone while driving. The wireless industry knows it. Big tech companies have  developed sophisticated tools to prevent these deaths but they don’t implement them for fear of seeing their profits decreasing.

Almost 10 years ago Apple submitted a patent for a technology that had the capacity to disable any function of a handled computing device that may interfere with safe driving.  While submitting the license , in 2008, Apple stated “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the process.”  For unknown reasons, the license was not issued until 2014. Anyway Apple never deployed it.

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Defective Hoverboard Lazy BoardDespite the many fire accidents and injuries caused by defective lithium-ion battery packs in hoverboards, the toy remains among the most popular holiday gifts. If you or your kids own a self balancing scooter or if you are planning to buy one as a gift you should visit the Consumer  Product Safety Commission website and check on the recent Self Balancing Scooter recalls. Here are some of the most recently recalled models:

  • The Layz Board hoverboard was recently the subject of a second warning by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the agency this hoverboard caused a fire on October 23, 2017, in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania, which destroyed one town home and damaged four others. The hoverboard was the object of a previous warning in May 2017 after two young girls died in a house fire caused by the Layz Board hoverboard on March 10, 2017, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Salvage World just recalled 700 Smart Balance Wheel self-balancing Scooters/Hoverboards. The battery can overheat and pose a risk of smoking, exploding or catching fire
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garbage truckPrivate garbage truck companies are responsible for too many deadly truck accidents in New York City.  Since 2010 43 New Yorkers died after they were struck by a private dump trunk. Something has to be done to reduce these deadly accidents.

In New York the Business Integrity Commission (BIC) is in charge of overseeing this industry. BIC was created 20 years ago with the main purpose to run background checks to root out potential mob ties. The commission doesn’t have the legal power to impose safety standards for privately owned garbage trucks.

On  Monday, members of the Commission appeared in a hearing about the private trash hauling industry in front of the New York City Council. BIC Chair, Dan Brownel asked the Council to provide BIC with more authority so that the Commission has the legal power to enforce safety protocols.