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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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teen driverThis week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. For the 13th consecutive year, the National Highway Traffic Administration is organizing a one week campaign to raise awareness  and seek solutions to prevent and reduce teen drivers fatalities and injuries.

Car accidents are the leading cause of fatality for teenagers in New York and in the US

In New York State, every day, 10 people are injured or killed in an accident caused by a teen driver.  Unsafe speed accounts for 21% of these accidents, driver inexperience for 8%, failure to yield right of way for 6%, driver distraction for 4% and alcohol for 1%.  Male teen drivers have a higher risk of causing an accident than female teen drivers. Drivers with only a few months of experience driving alone are also at high risk of causing a crash as well as teen driver driving with other teens on board. In New York State, teen drivers are at fault in almost 80% of the car crashes resulting in incapacitating and fatal injuries.

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A moped rider and 2 pedestrians were struck by cars in New York City in less than 24h.

In the first accident a driver hit a 94 year old man in a motorized wheelchair. The accident occurred yesterday afternoon on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The elderly man was crossing 5th Ave at the intersection of 95th street. He was in the crosswalk when a 32 year old driver struck him. The victim was critically injured and was rushed to the hospital. He is now in stable condition according to the NY Daily News.   The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged as police indicated that it was not clear who had the right of way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6In0OUvQm8

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While injuries declined, a surge in New York traffic fatalities for all categories of road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers – was recorded during the third trimester of 2020 compared to the same period of previous years.  77 people died in motor vehicle accidents this summer compared to respectively, 56, 59, 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This recent data brings the number of traffic fatalities in the city to its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero and very close to pre-Vision Zero levels. The rising number of traffic deaths occurred in a city that had far less people living in it than usual as many New Yorkers took off for the summer and most foreign tourists were unable to enter the US because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Speeding is  a factor in many of these fatalities. Street safety advocates are also pointing the finger at Mayor de Blasio who decline to listen and apply the recommendations of his COVID-19 transportation recovery panel.

Traffic fatalities NYC third quarter 2020
The number of motorist deaths was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero in 2014. 31 motorists died in New York City during the third quarter of 2020 compared to respectively, 21, 26, 22, 13, 16, 21 and 36 during the third quarter of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Motorist fatalities which were still on a declining trend during the third quarter of 2019 are now on a perfectly flat trend.

Motorist Deaths NYC Third Quarter 2020
Despite more than doubling – from 4 to 9 – between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, the number of passenger deaths recorded during the third quarter of 2020 remains on a slightly declining trend when looking at the entire Vision Zero period.

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A pedestrian and a motorist died in two separate car accidents in Queens, NYC, last night.

A woman speeding in her car killed herself after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a building, setting the car on fire. The accident occurred last night around 11:50 pm in Queens, NYC. 58 year old Berverlee Jackson was speeding on 11th Street in Hunter Point when she suddenly jumped the curb and crashed into a building. The impact was so intense that Beverlee was ejected from her Honda CRV SUV and then pinned under it while the vehicle spun around and ultimately caught fire. Firefighters and EMS rushed to the rescue but it was too late. Beverlee Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The woman lived in Flatbush, 8 miles away from the location of the accident.  Read more in the NY Daily News

A few hours later, also in Queens, another victim died in a SUV accident. The victim is a 72 year old location-of-the-second-deadly-accidentpedestrian who was struck by a car while crossing the road. His identity was not reveled by the police. The man was crossing at the intersection of the Horace Hardin Expressway, a service road  near the Long Island Expressway, and Main Street around 4:45 am.  He was in the crosswalk when a Toyota Sienna plowed into him. The pedestrian was rushed to the hospital but he could not be saved. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and was not charged. Read more in the NY Daily News

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teen driverCar accidents are the number one cause of teen fatalities and disability in the US. Close to 2,000 young drivers between 15 and 20 year old die in car crashes every year. This doesn’t include the deaths of passengers riding with teens or other road users including cyclists and pedestrians who died in traffic accidents caused by teens.  A majority of auto accidents caused by teens are related to lack of scanning, speeding and distraction such as using a cell phone or travelling with other teen passengers.

Based on analysis of previous teen accidents, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles tested a portable driver simulator system that has the ability to predict with accuracy which teen will pass the on-road exam and which one will fail. Additionally the simulator can highlight which driving errors are associated with failing the test.

The simulator was originally developed by researchers at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who created  a laboratory-based driving assessment that safely put teen drivers in common crash scenarios and measure their skills at avoiding accidents.  As the development appeared to be successful, CHOP created a spin off called Diagnostic Driving to commercialize the technology.  The product is  now in a pilot stage in the form of a cloud-based software application called Ready-Assess™.

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accident scene175 people died in auto accidents in New York City between January 1st and October 4th 2020 according to a recent article in the New York Post. Last year 169 people died during the same period of time. These numbers might seem pretty similar however the situation  in 2020 was vey different from 2019. For 3 months New Yorkers were required to quarantine and stay home in 2020.  As a result a decline in fatalities should have been expected but instead fatalities increased. The empty roads became much more dangerous than usual with road users engaging in risky behavior such as speeding.  Yesterday we blogged about the surge in bicycle accidents in the city but bicyclists are not the only category of roads users that experienced a surge in fatalities. 38 motorcyclists died so far compared to 37 for the same period of 2019 and 50 car occupants died in NYC crashes so far compared to 22 for the same period of 2019. This is more than the double. Many of the car occupant’s fatalities are related to speeding but as traffic in the city is returning back to normal, now another problem has appeared: a rise in cyclist deaths.  Sadly this doesn’t come as a surprise. Street safety activists and the media have been pointing at both issues, speeding and a rise in cyclists, for months.

Mayor de Blasio self destroyed his Vision Zero legacy

Mayor de Blasio who successfully launched Vision Zero at the beginning of 2014, not only ignored recommendations of his Surface Transportation Advisory Council to address the new challenges created by the covid-19 crisis but additionally slashed the Vision Zero budget (see previous article in New York Post).

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2 years ago, 12 year old Andrew McMorris was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The driver was identified as Thomas Murphy. At the time of the accident, the young Andrew was walking with a group of scouts along the shoulder of Davide Terry Road in Manorville, Long Island, NY, when Thomas Murphy struck them with his car. Thomas died in the accident and several other boy scouts were injured.

Murphy had been drinking vodka for several hours at his golf club before the fatal car accident

Prior to the accident, Murphy had been boozing on vodka at his golf club. He got behind the wheel despite the advise of several of his friends not to take his car. After the accident he refused to take the breathalyzer test. However a blood test effectuated four hours  later indicated a alcohol level of .13, well above the limit of  .08 allowed  by law.

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A 32 year-old woman died in a car accident in New York on Saturday. Jolenna Favor who lives in Far Rockaway was a passenger in a BMW driven by 35 year old Nicholas Thompson. Thompson was not supposed to be on the road driving the car as his license was previously revoked in 2011 following several drunk driving arrests. He was arrested a first time in Queens in 2008, then in Nassau County in 2011 when his license was taken away from him. He was caught drunk driving again in 2015 despite his license being revoked.

On Saturday a little bit before 7 pm, Thompson was drunk driving again. He was speeding down Rockaway Boulevard near Nassau County Boulevard with his friend Jolenna Favor in the passenger seat. At one point, just before the accident, an unmarked NYPD car had to swerve to avoid him then he lost control of his car and crashed into a fence in the middle of the trees.

When EMS arrived they found Jolenna dead in the passenger seat. She died from severe head and body trauma. Thompson survived. The two undercover cops that he almost hit saw him getting out of his car and alleged that his breath smelled of alcohol and that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He refused a blood test but admitted that he was drunk driving.

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A FDNY fire truck crashed into an ambulance killing the patient and injuring 11 others. The truck accident occurred on Thursday around 12:50 am. An ambulance transporting 59 year old Jamil Almansouri, a patient with a cardiac emergency was rushing North on Throop Avenue with its lights and sirens on. As the ambulance crossed the intersection of Myrtle Ave, a FDNY truck responding to a call for an apartment fire with all sirens and lights on as well, t-boned the ambulance. The patient flew across the ambulance and died. Almansouri was a Yemeni immigrant who owned a neighborhood bodega in Brooklyn and known by everybody as “Mike”. His sister, Granna Ahmad, who was in the ambulance with him survived, however she suffered multiple personal injuries including a broken back and two broken legs. She also lost all her teeth. The medical technician who was in the back with the deceased victim and his sister also suffered serious injury. The driver of the ambulance was hospitalized and required surgery for a serious leg injury. Six firefighters were also taken to to the hospital as well as two other people who were in a car waiting at a traffic light and whose car was also struck in the crash.

The firemen received a call at 12:43 initially reporting that people were trapped in a building. 6 minutes later the ambulance picked up Alamsouri who was in critical condition and took off for Woodhull Medical Center. Two minutes later, both vehicles crashed into each other, 3 blocks away from the  apartment fire. Thankfully, only one resident was living in the building and he was able to escape on his own.

According to preliminary investigations, the ambulance had the green light while the fire truck had the red light. However both vehicles had the right to bypass the light as they were both responding to a 911 emergency.  Some protruding scaffolding on a building near the intersection might have blocked the view of the fire truck driver.

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accident sceneA man who was drunk behind the wheels crashed his car into a telephone pole. His son who was in the car with him was critically injured  and rushed to the hospital where he died five days later. The man refused to surrender and the police had to track him down, He was arrested two weeks later and charged in an 18-count indictment including manslaughter.

The accident occurred on August 26th around 6:50 am. 34 year old Victor Mitchell from Central Avenue in Albany, was driving his Honda with his son in Far Rockaway when he crashed his car into a telephone pole. His 8 year old son, Sincere, was on board. When the police arrive they found that Mitchell had a blood alcohol content of .118. He also tested positive for Marijuana.

Tragic death