Reckless driving and speeding caused 6 people to die and several to be injured in multiple car accidents all over the city. On Monday early morning, around 2:00 am, a black BMW landed on the Amtrak tracks below the Henry Hudson parkway around 183rd Street. The driver lost control of the vehicle and went over the barriers of the highway. When the car landed on the tracks it exploded, killing the driver and the passenger. The police was seen at the scene investigating the accident while Amtrak published a service advisory signaling delays for the trains travelling between Pen Station and Albany.
3 people suffered personal injury caused by falling ice in Midtown Manhattan and streets had to be temporarily closed around the Steinman high rise to prevent further accidents. Falling ice from super-tall high rise all glass sky scrappers is an ongoing issue in New York City that has been causing entire streets to shut down. Studies have found that the energy efficiency system installed on aluminum and glass high-rises causes unexpected accumulation of ice and snow (see previous post) and as a result when the temperature rises, this ice is falling down on the street from such height that it becomes deadly.
On Friday afternoon, a woman was driving her car on Sixth Ave when a giant piece of ice, crashed on the top of her car, causing the roof to crash down on her head and seriously injuring her. The ice fell from the high-rise located at 111 W. 57th St also known as the Steinway building because it was built at the location of the Steinway pianos showroom. It is also one of the highest building in the US and the thinnest skyscraper in the world.
35 year old Deneice O’Connor said she thought a body fell on her car when the accident occurred. She said she was traumatized but was able to drive the car to the curb and find refuge under an awning while 10 foot long panes of ice continue to crash down on the street.
A man who was seriously injured and whose wife died after their Tesla struck a fire truck while on Autopilot mode is suing Tesla for personal injury and wrongful death. Derek Monet was driving his car on autopilot on a highway in Indiana in December 2019 when the car crashed into the rear of a fire truck that was responding to an accident and was stopped on the road. Derek suffered a broken spine and a broken femur and his wife died in the accident
In his claim Derek says Tesla knew that its software failed to react to emergency vehicles with flashing lights but did not recall its vehicles to update the software. The claim was filed after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation last year and asked Tesla to release its non-disclosure agreements with drivers who were testing the “full-self” driving system. The NHTSA is aware of 11 similar accidents during which Tesla cars struck emergency vehicles with flashing lights and wants to know why the car manufacturer did not recall its vehicles after it transmitted a wireless software update designed to prevent crashes into stationary objects.
The 68 page lawsuit demonstrates how Elon Musk and other executives were well aware that the autopilot was not safe but that the company continued to “hype” its cars as if they were
Every day pedestrians and cyclists are risking dangerous collisions on the narrow share two-way lane on the Queensboro Bridge. De Blasio promised the bridge would be fixed and pedestrians and cyclists would be completely separated and share each a side of the bridge by the end of 2022. This promise will not be kept as the DOT announced yesterday that the work will not be completed until the end of 2023. The news raised a lot of outrage as, since the pandemic hit and New Yorkers changed the way they are commuting, the pedestrian and bicyclist traffic was 26 times more heavier than during pre-pandemic era according to statistics from last September. Near misses occur daily and crashes resulting in injuries are common on the narrow path where pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and an influx of faster moped riders who despite knowing that they are illegally using the path, find it safer than riding among cars on the bridge.
Pedestrians and cyclists feel like they have been tricked
The DOT did not provide any explanation as to why the work was delayed except that it was related to the fabrication of the new deck. However pedestrians and cyclists advocates feel like they are taking advantage of. De Blasio promised the South outer roadway would be converted to a pedestrian path starting late 2021 and would be completed this year. Now the DOT says they can not do that because the South outer roadway need to be open to cars during the bridge renovation project.
Some construction workers, especially those working on emergency repairs are required to work for long period of time in sub-zero temperatures and as a result they might suffer cold related illnesses and injuries such as Hypothermia, Frostbite, Trench Foot and Chilblains.
How to prevent cold illnesses?
- The most important way to prevent cold illnesses is to wear appropriate clothing that are made for cold, wet and windy conditions. Dressing with layers of loose fitting clothes that can be adjusted depending on the outside temperature and always wearing a hat that covers ears and if necessary a knit mask. Waterproof and insulated gloves as well as socks and waterproof and insulated shoes that keep the body dry are necessary when working outside for a long time. Additionnally. it is always a good idea to bring extra clothes to change in cases clothes get wet.
New York City was really pretty yesterday all covered in snow, however snowy days are also days during which more people are getting injured and fill up the emergency rooms. Freezing weather, icy roads and sidewalks as well as wet floors are causing more injuries than usual. Slip and falls are common and are the number one cause of injuries at work places during wintery days. While most of them only cause minor injuries such as bruises or contusions, abrasions or lacerations, some injuries resulting from slip and falls can also cause bone fractures or sprains and strains that might lead to hospitalization. In rare cases and especially with senior people a bad fall can also result in temporary or permanent paralysis if the fall causes a spinal injury or even in death if the persons falls on the head and sustains internal bleeding. Maintaining slippery areas clean and dry as well as installing hazard cones is one of the best ways to prevent slip and falls. Wearing adequate shoes that are slip resistant also prevent slip and falls.
More dangerous than slip and falls and leading to multiple injuries and deaths are car accidents caused by wintery conditions. According to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration, more than 1,300 people are killed and almost 120,000 are injured every year in the US in car accidents caused by wintery weather. The best way to avoid a car accident is not to drive if you don’t have too. However if you do not have the choice, try to avoid small roads or not commonly used roads. Use mostly main roads and highways which are usually better maintained.
Hypothermia and frostbite are also a cause of multiple injuries and deaths. Every year in the US there are close to 1000 people dying from hyperthermia. Frostbite on hands and feet are also quite common and can be quite painful, sometimes resulting in loss of extremities. Wearing appropriate equipment and clothes as well as drinking hot beverages on a regular basis is the best way to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
Last week, Pete Butigieg revealed a national plan to significantly reduce personal injuries and deaths caused by car crashes. The National Roadway Strategy is an ambitious plan to reach a long term goal toward zero roadway fatalities on American roads. The announcement of a “Vision Zero” plan at national scale is coming in the steps of a significant increase of road fatalities in the US. According to early estimates by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 20,160 people died in auto accidents in the US, an increase of 18.4% compared to the same period of 2020. This is the highest projection of road deaths since 2006 for that particular period.
The National Roadway Strategy is a major change of direction for the US DOT which in the past was not doing much for road safety with the exception of producing accident statistics. The details of the strategy and how local leaders and States will implement it are not defined yet but they will be based on the “Safe System Approach: Safer People, Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, and Post-Crash Care”. This approach is very similar to the Vision Zero approach already developed in New York City and in other cities, especially in Europe, and consist in developing programs to reduce crashes and make them less deadly. A Safe System is based on 6 principles:
- Serious injuries and death are not acceptable: the goal of the system is to eliminate catastrophic accidents
A 13 year old girl was critically injured in a truck accident in Brooklyn, NYC, yesterday morning. The accident occurred around 7:30 AM in Midwood. The teenager had just come out of a MTA Bus in the vicinity of Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue and was crossing the street when she was struck by a box truck. The driver of the box truck, a 35 year old man, stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged. The teenager is the 3rd child to be struck by a vehicle in Brooklyn over the last two weeks. A teenage boy was critically injured in a MTA bus accident last weekend and a 15 year old girl died after being hit by a yellow school bus in Brooklyn the week earlier. (read more in PIX11)
Later on during the day, in the Bronx, a 24 year old pedestrian was hit by a black Mercedes sedan and was critically inured as well . The accident occurred as the pedestrian was crossing the intersection of Edenwald Avenue and Boyd Ave in Wakefield around 4:45 pm. The driver of the Mercedes did not stop. The police found the victim lying in the street with severe head trauma. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The police were able to identify the vehicle and found out it had been reported stolen. (read more in the NY Daily News)
Over the last two weeks traffic accidents killing and injuring pedestrians and cyclists in New York City have been out of control with people being seriously injured or killed by vehicles on a daily basis.
Last year, NYC Car accident fatalities reached their highest level since 2013 and the carnage continued in January. After a 15 year old girl was killed by a school bus in Brooklyn last week, (see previous blog) Mayor Adams told New Yorkers that he plans to make the city safer by redesigning 1,000 intersections and use the NYPD to crack down on reckless drivers. Adams said that cyclists and drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians will be ticketed as well as drivers who run red lights or fail to stop at stop signs. The NYPD will also crack down on drivers and cyclists who do not yield to pedestrians while crossing intersections without stop signs. This new regulation is supposed to make safer around 1,200 intersections that have no signalization in the city.
Adams held his press conference at the intersection of Caton Ave and Coney Island Avenue and said 26 people suffered injuries in car accidents at this particular intersection and that 5 other people died in auto accidents on Coney Island Avenue. The mayor wants to focus on improving intersections in the city and make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Previous statistics indicate that most accidents resulting in injuries or deaths in New York City occurred at intersections. Therefore intersections have to be safer.
The mayor pledged that by the end of 2022, 1,000 intersections in New York City will be improved. These improvements include the addition of 100 raised pedestrian crossings and 100 bike corrals at intersections. Some parking places where big vehicles reduce visibility for pedestrians will be removed as well.
Over less than a week, two pedestrian died and one was critically injured. On Monday morning, 15 year old Antonia Zalutovska was rolled over by a school bus who failed to yield to her (see previous blog). A few days before, on Thursday last week, one pedestrian died and another one suffered life threatening injuries in two separate reckless car accidents.