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Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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There were less auto accidents in New York City in January 2017 (17,126) than in January 2016 (17,798) but more than in 2014 (15,977) and 2015 (16,597).  Over the years we can observe in the graph below that there are usually less crashes in NYC in January and in February.  These are the months where  traffic accidents are at their lowest of the year in the city. It is a seasonal phenomenon. After the  busy “holiday” months of November and December, January and February are usually slower and colder most probably resulting in less traffic in the city. However, despite the drop in last January, the total number of traffic accidents in the city is still on a rising trend. (click on graph to see full size).

Traffic Accidents in NYC by Month with Trendline
4,383 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents last January compared to 3,624 in January 2016 and respectively 3,449, 3,899 and 3,993 in January, 2015, 2014 and 2013. As mentioned before, the seasonal factor explains the drop of  auto accident injuries in January and February. However despite being much lower than in December, it is the first time that the number of people injured in NYC motor vehicle accidents in January is above 4,000.

Traffic Accident Injuries in NYC by Month with Trendline
The number of injuries are on the rise among all road users category.  There were 21% more drivers, 22 % more passengers, 9% more cyclists and 20% more pedestrians injured    in January 2017 than in January 2016.

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A NYC drunk driver killed his passenger after he crashed into a divider. The fatal car accident took place on the Williamsburg bridge Thursday around 3:30 am. That night, Amanda Miner was celebrating her 21st  birthday. She was driving back home with her two friends, both NYPD traffic enforcement agents. Stefan Hoyte was driving the car and his friend was in the front seat. Amanda was seating in the back. Hoyte was in the middle of the bridge when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the divider. The impact was so strong that the car split in two and Amanda was thrown from the vehicle. She died at the scene of the accident. The two men suffered minor injuries. The driver was taken into custody. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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accident sceneA man who crashed his car in NYC disappeared from the accident scene leaving behind his brother who was critically injured. 21 year old Aidan Cammacho was speeding on Atlantic Ave in Queens, NYC, this morning around 4:15 am  when he lost control of his vehicle. His brother, Angel Camacho from Pennsylvania was in the passenger seat when the accident happened. He was seriously injured after Aidan jumped the curb and crashed his car against a parked car and a tree. The impact was so violent that the front of the car was completely destroyed. While his brother was stuck in the car almost dying, Aidan Camacho hailed a passing car who gave him a ride to Interfaith Medical Center. When the police arrived at the medical center he had already taken off.  His brother was extricated from the car by the EMS and transported to the hospital. The police are still looking for Aidan.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Traffic fatalities at Vision Zero priority locations in 2016 compared to previous Vision Zero yearsThe total number of traffic fatalities in New York City in 2016 was at its lowest since 1910 when the city started to keep records on traffic accidents. Mayor de Blasio recently released a new report covering the third year of “Vision Zero”.  According to the report, the first three-year period of Vision Zero is the safest period in New York City history.  The report highlights the recent initiatives launched under the Vision Zero program in 2016. It also provides the most recent statistics on car accidents fatalities and injuries, bicycle accidents fatalities and injuries and pedestrian accident fatalities and injuries in 2016.

In the Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans published in 2015, the DOT defined specific strategies to improve the most dangerous intersections and high-crash corridors in each borough.  Consisting of street redesigns, additional police enforcement, education and community engagement, the implementation of these action plans proved to be especially effective. Statistics showed that for the 5 years prior to Vision Zero there was an average 141  yearly traffic fatalities including 99 pedestrian fatalities at identified high-priority locations compared to 100 fatalities including 72 pedestrian deaths in 2016.

Various cross-agency studies have led to targeted safety campaigns. The most recent was an analysis of crash trends after sunset during the fall and the winter in New York City. The DOT and the NYPD who conducted the study together found that after sunset in the fall and the winter, there is an increase in 40%  of  pedestrians dying or being severely injured in car accidents. These findings led to an increase in evening and nighttime enforcement by NYPD officers and TLC inspectors.  This increase in enforcement combined with a mix-media campaign consisting of flyers and messages on television and drive-time radio led to a decline of 30% of traffic fatalities during the initiative.

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car that hit the bicyclistA 76 year old man was critically injured in a bicycle accident in NYC last Friday. The man was riding his bike North on Colden Street in Queens, New York City.  He was struck by a car at the intersection of Colden Street and Elder Avenue around 5:30 pm. The car driver didn’t stop. He fled the scene of the accident leaving behind a man suffering critical personal injury.

The NYPD is still looking for the suspect who was driving a teal-colored Honda CRV. He was seen fleeing South on Kissena Boulevard from Franklin Avenue.

If you have any information about the suspected hit and run driver you can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. Below is a video of the car just before the bicycle accident. Read More.

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Vision Zero was launched in an attempt to reduce pedestrian and bicyclists deaths in NYC. However, in an unexpected twist, the program primarily helped in curbing motorists deaths. 

Back in 2013 before Vision  Zero started, 286 people died and 54,818 suffered personal injury in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. Among the 286 deaths were 168 pedestrians, many of them children and elderly. In New York City, car accidents have been the leading cause of child deaths for many years. According to statistics, two thirds of the children involved in fatal accidents were child pedestrians being struck by cars. Elderly are also at higher risk of being struck by cars in New York City, especially after sunset when the visibility is reduced.

When Bill de Blasio became Mayor on January 1st 2014, he pledged to change this situation and provide safe streets for New York families.  Vision Zero was launched for this purpose in January 2014 and is still ongoing. The program includes various initiatives such as speed limit reduction, dangerous streets re-design and  more forceful prosecution of traffic violations. Since the program started, the total number of traffic deaths gradually declined from 286 in 2013 before the program to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015 and 223 in 2016. From the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, the total number of traffic deaths declined by 22% in New York City.

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accident sceneA speeding young driver almost lost his life in a New York City car crash while his passenger only suffered minor injuries. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 11:00 am. The 21 year old driver and his passenger were riding their car on the Bronx River Parkway near E. 173rd St. According to the New York Daily News, the driver was speeding when he clipped a taxi and lost control of his vehicle. He then hit the median and flipped several time across the parkway before landing on the grass next to the road. The car was totally crushed. Paramedics had to cut the car to remove the driver and his passenger from it. The driver who was critically injured was rushed to the hospital. The passenger miraculously only suffered minor injuries.

 

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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