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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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11 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 4 passengers and 8 motor vehicle operators died in crashes in New York City last May compared to respectively 6,2,0 and 2 in April and 15, 1, 3 and 11 in May 2021. This is the first time that the number of monthly fatalities is above 25 since October 21.

After a drop during the Covid19 crisis in 2020, monthly traffic accident fatalities have been above 25, 8 times during the last 2 years, Before the Covid19 crisis, since Vision Zero started in 2014, fatalities only went above 25 5 times over a period of 6 years. These numbers are very preoccupying.  At the very beginning of May, The Adams administration launched a $4 million campaign urging  motorists to slow down but so far this campaign doesn’t seem to have much effects on car accident fatalities.

New York motor vehicle accident fatalities May 2022
Car accident deaths have been exploding over the last two years in New York City. Last May, as mentioned above, 26 people died in traffic accidents compared to 10 a month earlier and 30 in May 2021. Since May 2015 when they reached 28, monthly car accidents deaths had remained below 20 during the months of April and May. While the trendline since Vison Zero started remains on the decline, the last 2 years have been more deadly than before.

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increased risk of crashes on highway work zonesHighway construction zones are dangerous areas where both construction workers and motorists are at risk of getting injured or killed in crashes.

An annual study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (HCSS), found that during the past year 64% of contractors working on highways experienced at least one crash on their work site. Among them, 32% reported 5 crashes or more.

5 or more construction workers were injured in 2% of these crashes, 3 workers were injured in 3% of them, 2 in 5% of them and  1 hard hat was injured in 8% of them. In the majority of the accidents (82%) no workers were injured.

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children going to school in NYCEvery school day morning in the 8:00 am hours, 57% more car accidents and 25% more injuries from crashes are recorded in streets around schools than in all New York City streets on average during that time.

StreetBlog just published the result of a 6 month study about road safety around schools

They studied almost 1 million car accidents in New York City from July 2015 to November 2021 and looked at every collision that occurred within 250 feet of a public school.   Despite multiple efforts by the city and by the state to reduce danger around school zones such as installation of speed cameras, crossing guards, specific school safety DOT teams and more, school areas remain dangerous.

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traffic fatalities US 2021Early estimates of motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that while traffic fatalities increased in the US in 2021 compared to 2020, the number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled slightly declined.

An estimated total of 42,915 people died in crashes in the US in 2021 compared to 38,824 in 2020. This represents an increase of 10.5%. This is also the highest number of road fatalities since 2005.

In the State of New York, 1,139 people died in crashes in 2021 compared to 1,046in 2020, representing a 8.8% increase.

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Andrew_Gounardes wrote the speed camera billsIn an effort to reduce an increase in fatal car accidents in New York City, legislators in Albany have signed a deal to renew the existing cameras program and to have them running 24/7 instead of the current schedule of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Safety advocates were pleased that the deal was signed and the new amended bill was on its way to be delivered to Governor Hochul and signed.  The signature of the bill allows the speed cameras program to be extended for 3 years. However the deal is a watered down version of the bill proposed by Senator Andrew Gournades (picture) who originally included several other propositions such as:

  • Requiring the DMV to notify car insurance companies about any car accumulating five or more speed camera tickets
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The intersection where Lin was fatally struckAnother pedestrian died in a crash in New York City on Saturday after the driver of a van failed to yield to her

62 year old Tian-Rong Lin was crossing Seward Avenue in the Bronx when a van making a left turn from Olmstead Avenue struck her. The accident occurred on Saturday morning around 11:00 am. The driver, 54 year old Ramon Cedeno-Ortiz, stayed at the scene of the accident. He was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Drivers rarely charged when they kill a pedestrian

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Speed cameras prevent crashes59% of all deadly crashes in New York City occur during hours when speed cameras are turned off and speeding is the number one factor of car accident fatalities in New York City with 4 out of 5 fatal crashes caused by speed according to a new report recently published by Transportation Alternatives.

Speed cameras in New York City have proven to be among the most effective tools to address speeding and reduce car accidents.  The speed camera program that was implemented in 2014 in New York City is not regulated by  New York City but by New York State in Albany.  Albany not only limits the number of speed cameras but also their location (only in school zones and at few intersections) and their hours of operation (Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm).   Mayor Adams wants the city to have control over the speed camera program and two days ago, the NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez reiterated Adams’ call on lawmakers in Albany to hand over control of the city’s speed camera program (see article in the Gothamist).

Both the NYC DOT and street safety activists are asking for speed camera to be active 24/7.  Previous studies effectuated by the DOT show that as soon as the cameras are turned off, speeding comes back and that 31% of all crash fatalities take place in a school zone area at a time when cameras are turned off.

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this is where the man on a motorised scooter was fatally killedA 72 year old man on a motorized scooter is the 8th person to die in a traffic accident in New York City in one week

After a student was killed by a drunk driver in Manhattan, a 16 year old was killed by a truck while on her way to school in the Bronx,  a bike rider was killed by a garbage truck in Brooklyn, a delivery man was fatally struck by a van in Brooklyn, two pedestrians were fatally struck the same day in Queens and a mother was fatally struck by a stolen hit and run truck in Queens as well , an elderly man who was trying to cross the street on his motorized scooter was killed by a van in the Bronx on Sunday night just a few hours before a 20 year old driver speeding on the Belt Parkway killed herself and critically injured her passenger after crashing her car in a city truck.

Additionally, on Monday, a 69 year old man was critically injured after being struck and dragged by a box truck in the UES.

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Raife fatally struck by drunk driverMichael de Guzman had a blood-alcohol content of .13 when he struck  and killed a pedestrian in Downtown Manhattan.

21 year old Raife Miligan was attempting to cross Houston Street near First Avenue last Monday around 2:45 am when the drunk driver fatally hit him.

According to an article published yesterday in the New York Post, just after he struck the student with his red Chevy Camaro, the driver told the police that he saw “a shadow running across the street” and while he tried to swerve to avoid it, he crashed into a Honda CRV and the divider. The officer who took the complaint wrote the following “I observed [de Guzman] ask the passenger of his vehicle if he hit the other car and the passenger stated to [de Guzman] in substance, no you just hit the guy, meaning the pedestrian,”.

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As traffic accident fatalities in New York City rose to levels never seen since Vision Zero started in 2014 (see our recent blog), Mayor Adams just announced that he was launching a $4 million multi-platform, multilingual campaign to counter rising traffic violence and curb dangerous driving behaviors.

The campaign entitled “Speeding Ruins Lives, Slow Down” is the largest investment in public safety awareness since Vision Zero was launched in 2014. It  comes in the steps of a previous $900 million investment in street safety that is being used to physically redesign 1,000 dangerous intersections located in the New

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York City five boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island as well as campaigning for New York City to have more control on traffic safety tools such as speed cameras.