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.

Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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young driverPeople who are driving after recovering from a concussion may be at higher risk of a car accident. A recent study lead by Julianne Schmidt, associate professor in the UGA College of Education’s department of kinesiology shows that despite being asymptomatic, people who recently suffered concussion may drive erratically. The study was recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

During the study, Julianne Schmidt and her team compared the driving skills of 14 students who suffered concussion but were symptom free with the driving skills of 14 students who didn’t suffer from concussion. Participants were required to to complete a graded symptom checklist and a neuropsychological exam. Participants with concussion were asked to take a 20.5 km driving test within 48 hours of becoming asymptomatic. Healthy participants of the same age were required to complete the same driving test.

The study showed that participants who previously suffered concussion but were cleared of symptoms exhibited driving behavior similar to someone driving under the influence of alcohol.  The researchers compared the number of crashes between the two groups of students as well as the number of tickets, the number of lane excursion, the way they were driving in curves and their speed. They found out that concussed participants were not well controlling their vehicles especially when driving in the curves. They also swerved a lot more than healthy drivers putting themselves and other road users at a greater risk of accidents.

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assan jones died in a NYC car accidentA young man died in a NYC car accident early last Saturday. Hassan Jones, a 28 year old US Army veteran, was driving with his cousin on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens when they bumped into a SUV in front of them. Both cars stopped on the side of the road. The two occupants of the SUV stepped out and as Hassan and his cousin did the same. An argument followed. One of the SUV passengers punched Jones. He fell to the ground. He was struck by a car and dragged several feet on the road. He died at the scene of the accident. After realizing what happened, the driver stopped. He panicked, abandoned his car and ran away on foot. He was later on found by the police and identified as 19 year old Starlyn Colon-Burgess. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. According to the NY Daily News both cars involved in the first accident also fled the scene of the accident but the police were able to find them.

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Driver free carAfter decades of steady decline, deadly car accidents are on the rise again in the U.S.  According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety, 17,775 people died on American roads during the first six months of 2016. Compared to the same period of 2015, the number of traffic fatalities increased by 10.4%.  This is the biggest spike in 50 years. The new Transportation Secretary will have to identify ways of  reversing this alarming increase of traffic deaths. Distracted driving is the number one cause of fatal crashes.  A few year ago distracted driving was mostly related to people calling or texting while driving. These days all kind of apps are being used by motorists while driving.

Another difficult task, also related to new technologies, that Ms Chao will have to handle is the development of regulations for automated cars. Car safety advocates who have previously emitted  concerns about the Obama administration’s lack of strong safety regulation in this field are now even more worried. With the Trump administration’s anti-regulation stance, there is a significant risk that many road users will die in the near future as a result of auto-makers being allowed to launch automated cars in an almost self-regulated environment.

Read more in Fairwarning

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Bianca Bennett died in a NYC crashA NYPD officer died and a sergeant was seriously injured in a car accident that occurred last week in the Bronx. 27 year old rookie officer Bianca Bennett was a passenger in a car driven by Sergeant Randolph Price. Both cops were off-duty. They were returning from a diner with friends in City Island.  Price who was speeding, lost control of his vehicle and careened into a tree stump. The car flipped upside down and burst into flames. Two other cops on their way home from the firing range saw the accident and ran to the rescue. They were able to pull Price out of the flames but it was too late to save Bennett. According to them she was so badly burned that it was impossible to determine if she was a woman or a man.  27 year old Bennett was fiancee to her high school sweetheart Micheal Coleman, they were about to get married in April. A vigil was held yesterday in the East Village. Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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The number of pedestrians hit by cars in The NYC 112th Precinct increased by 64% in January 2017 compared to January 2016. Last month 23 people were struck by cars in Forest Hill and Rego Park in Queens compared to 14 during the same period of 2016. Many of the pedestrian accidents occurred during a turn. In order to try to reduce these types of crashes, the NYPD 112th Precinct launched a campaign to tell motorists to be careful while driving through an intersection or trough crosswalks. Last week officers handed flyers to motorists containing Zero Vision information and also specific reminder about speed, not cutting corners and being especially on the look out for pedestrians after sunset. Read more in DNA Info

tweet from the NYPD to prevent pedestrian accidents

 

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Car accident on the Taconic Parkway2,080 crashes occurred on the New York Taconic State Parkway over a period of 3 years. While being a picturesque scenic road that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the road has a horrific history of  severe traffic accidents.

In 2009 a 36 year old mother driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana entered the Taconic highway in the wrong direction. She had 4 passengers, all children. There were her daughter and 3 nieces. She collided with a SUV after driving almost 2 miles in the wrong lane. There were 3 occupants in the SUV. All 8 people died in the accident. This accident was the deadliest on this highway since 1934 when 20 people died in a bus accident near Ossining, New York

According to a recent article published by Only in Your State, most accidents occur in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Speeding is common on this segment of the Taconic. The Taconic is the longest Parkway in New York State. Click on link above to see map of Parkway  and photographs of dangerous portions. A report from 2015 indicates that, for the 7 years before 2015, State Troopers gave 54,000 speeding tickets on the Parkway. 18,000 of them were for drivers speeding in the Westchester area.  The highway is used daily by commuters going to work in the city. The two lanes available in each direction are often overcrowded.

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Trasnportation Alternatives logo9 people including 7 pedestrians and bicyclists died in NYC car crashes in the first 10 days of 2017. In a recent statement, Paul Steely White, the Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, expressed his outrage and asked the city of New York to accelerate street redesigns. He also wants the New York police to change their attitude and be more accountable.

In his statement, Steely White, noted that 7 of the 9 fatal crashes occurred in locations that have been previously identified by Vision Zero as “priority areas”.  Transportation Alternatives asks the city to allocate immediate funding to redesign these high crashes locations.

Steely White also expressed his outrage towards NYPD investigators behavior. The  NYPD has a horrible habit of blaming the victims and exonerating drivers. For example, the driver of the box truck who fatally struck Rafael Nieves last week and left the scene of the accident was let go without his case being referred to the district attorney (see previous blog). The police also didn’t charge the driver who killed 43 year old Marlon Palacios. The driver told the police his leg had become stiff and got stuck on the accelerator.  The police have the power to act as a judge and a jury while a court should make such decision.  Additionally  the police are supposed to deter dangerous driving in New York City but they often blame the victims and let go reckless drivers.

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A woman died from her injuries after being struck by a car at a Long Island gas station. 62 year old Rosalie Koenig, was pumping gas when an out of control car crashed into the gas station. Koenig was pinned between the pump and her car. The reckless driver, 53 year old Renee McKinney, lost control of her vehicle after she overdosed on heroin. She was arrested by the police and charged with driving while impaired by drugs. Koenig was transported to the hospital with critical injuries. She died the following day. The accident happened at a gas station located on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley, Long Island.

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  • A 13 year old pedestrian was injured in a NYC car accident  last Thursday. Gittie Hershenbaum was waiting  for her school bus on a sidewalk when a car jumped the curb and hit her. The driver who was working for Uber, suffered a cardiac arrest and lost control of his vehicle.  The accident took place at the intersection of 55th street and 18th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn. A video surveillance shows the girl landing on the hood of the car after being struck by it. The impact was extremely strong. The parents told The NY Daily News that girl was probably saved by her backpack that was full of books and acted as a cushion as she landed with her back on the car. She suffered a fractured leg. The driver of the car was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

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37 pedestrians and one bicyclist were among the 50 victims who died in NYC traffic accidents last fall (September, October, November).  This is 15 less accident fatalities than in the fall of 2015,  21 less than in the fall of 2014 and 34 less than in the fall of 2013. Since 2013, the number of people dying on the road has been decreasing each fall in the city.

While less people are dying in NYC car accidents, more are getting injured. After recording a decline in 2014, the number of people injured in traffic accidents during the fall months went back up slightly in 2015  and reached its highest in 2016. 15,480 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the 3-month period of September, October and November  2016 compared to 13,693 during the same period of 2015, 13,350 during the same period of 2014 and 14,449 during the same period of 2013.

The total number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City is continuing to rise as well.