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 Tagged with car accident

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Roadway fatalities in the USVision Zero is a road safety program that was first started in Sweden and then successfully applied in many other European countries. When Bill de Blasio became the mayor of New York, he also implemented a Vision Zero strategy for New York City which over the last four years led to a significant reduction of traffic deaths, especially pedestrian fatalities.

While traffic deaths have been decreasing in New York City, they have been increasing at the national level.  In the steps of Sweden and New York, the National Safety Council recently created the “Road to Zero Coalition“(RTZ) and just released  “The Road to Zero, A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050” a comprehensive report on how to apply Vision Zero Strategies at the national level and end roadway deaths in the US by 2050.

Roadway fatalities which had been declining in the US between 1985 and 2011 started to increase again between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, 5,000 more people died in roadway accidents than in 2011. Young people aged 15 to 24, men and rural road users are the most at risk of dying in a car crash.

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Hit and Run Crashes by State2,049 people died in 1,980 fatal hit and run crashes in 2016 in the US according to a study recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This is the highest number of fatal hit and run crashes ever recorded in the US. Among the 2,049 people who died in these accidents, 1,229 of them were pedestrians, 169 were cyclists, 380 of them were drivers and 229 were passengers. Since 2009 hit and run crashes increased by an average annual rate of 7.2% per year.

New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida have the highest rate of fatal hit and run crashes per 100,000 people while New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota have the lowest rate.

Almost 60% of the victims of fatal hit and run are pedestrians with elderly over 80 year old and children under 6 being 50% more likely to be a victim of such accidents. Gender is also a factor. 70% of pedestrians dying in a hit and run accidents are male.

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road construction workers143 workers lost their lives on road construction sites in 2016 in America compared to respectively 130, 119 and 105 in 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the third consecutive year that the number of worker deaths has been increasing.  Over the last 10 years the number of road construction workers dying in crashes has been oscillating between 100 and 130. The average for the last 3 years is 130.7 It is the first year that this number is above 140.

Increased vehicular traffic, distracted driving and increase of road construction projects are among the main causes of this increase in fatalities. In a recent press release the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) urges drivers to be more careful and keep their eyes on the road when they drive near or through road construction zones.

Because of the nature of their activity, road workers and especially highway workers are highly exposed to fatal accidents.  Last year they represented almost 20% of the 765 fatalities that occurred on road construction sites. Drivers and passengers of motor vehicles represented around 80% of the fatalities.

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senior driverSenior drivers have a higher risk of dying in a car crash than younger drivers. Some inexpensive car accessories can help older drivers to drive more safely and prevent accidents but only 10% take advantage of them.

Drivers over 65-year-old often suffer from various health conditions that can affect driving. Reduced mental capacity and cognitive decline, arthritic hands, diminished vision, overweight, limited body motion or decreased leg strength are among the most common conditions affecting drivers over 65-year-old.

Diminished physical condition doesn’t automatically imply that someone should stop driving a car. Some cheap and easy to install accessories can make a difference and improve driving skills. For example:

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distracted driving can cause accidentsMost drivers who were using their cellphone and as a result killed someone in a car accident usually don’t get more than a few days in jail.

Fair Warning reviewed approximately 100 prosecutions of distracted drivers over the last 5 years and found that light punishment is usually the norm. Only in a few cases drivers were sentenced to serve for a month or two or were fined with amounts of more than $1000.

Fair Warning also found that the risk of going to prison is almost zero for drivers who were “only” using their phone before they killed someone on the road. Drivers who got sentenced to prison usually committed at least one additional illegal action such as drinking, taking drugs or using a hand held cell phone while driving a commercial truck.

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According  to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) , 94% of serious auto accidents are due to dangerous choices or human errors. Recently developed driver assistance technologies are attempting to address these errors. As these technologies become more and more sophisticated they will ultimately lead to self-driving vehicles.

The NHTSA believes that self-driving vehicles will result in a drastic reduction of auto accident fatalities however we are not there yet. As of Today, the newest vehicles on the market are far from being fully automated but they do have technologies that prevent accidents due to human errors. These technologies can prevent forward collisions, help drivers while backing up and parking and assist them to detect blind spots or to stay in their lane. New technologies can also make sure drivers keep a safe distance in various situations such as driving in traffic jams or on highways.

The NTHSA and the DOT are expecting that vehicles will go through a technological evolution  that can be summarized in 6 steps until full automation:

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distracted-driving-can-cause-accidents-1Last year the number of fatal auto accidents reached a record high in the US. Despite unclear data, mobile devices are suspected to be a main factor in these accidents.

Mobile phone addiction is real and the consequences are deadly when people use their phone while driving. The wireless industry knows it. Big tech companies have  developed sophisticated tools to prevent these deaths but they don’t implement them for fear of seeing their profits decreasing.

Almost 10 years ago Apple submitted a patent for a technology that had the capacity to disable any function of a handled computing device that may interfere with safe driving.  While submitting the license , in 2008, Apple stated “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the process.”  For unknown reasons, the license was not issued until 2014. Anyway Apple never deployed it.

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labor-DayThe New York Car Accidents Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conasaon, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf wish you all a wonderful Labor Day Week-End!

Please be safe on the road as unfortunately there are 11% more accidents on the road during the Labor Day week-end than during a regular week-end.

The National Safety Council estimates that 421 people will be killed in car accidents this Labor Day week-end. Additionally the NSC estimates that 48,400 road users will suffer personal injury requiring medical attention during the same time. These predictions are the highest that the NSC ever issued for the 3 day Labor Day week-end since 2008. Please stay safe and do not text and drive.

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seatbelts prevent children from dying in car accidentsToo many children are dying in car accidents in the US  because they are not adequately restrained. Improper restraint is the number one cause of children fatalities in car accidents in the US. A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that if the percentage of children unrestrained or inappropriately restrained while riding in  a car in the US  decreased from the actual estimated figure of 20% to 10%, 232 children deaths would be averted every year. The study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and the Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX,  looks at car accident data by States from 2010 to 2014.

Important variations were found from state to state. Globally 52% of the children who died in a car accident in the US camme from the South, 21% from the West, 19% from the Midwest and 7.4%  from the Northeast. While looking at factors that may increase the risk of children deaths in car accidents, the researchers found that in New Hampshire only 2% of children who died in a car accident were improperly restrained while in Mississipi 38% of the children who died in a car crash were improrely restrained.

The type of roads as well as the absence of legislation in regards to red light cameras are also important factors in children mortality in car crashes. Rural roads are the type of roads where children have the highest risk of being killed in a car accidents. Several factors such as poorer road quality, limited lighting or visibility, lesser enforcement of speed or long distances to trauma centers may explain why more children are dying on the road in rural areas. Researchers also found an increased risk of pediatric mortality in car accidents in States that didn’t have legislation for red light cameras.

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Every year in the US approximately 10,000 people die in car accidents caused by drunk drivers.  In an effort to prevent these types of accidents, states have been introducing Ignition Interlock Laws.  The ignition interlock is a device that is connected to the ignition of a car. When a driver wants to start a car with this type of device he has to breath in the ignition interlock. If alcohol is detected and is above the legal BAC limit for the state, the car doesn’t start. All states now have ignition interlock laws but some are more permissive than others. Globally there are 3 types of laws. “Permissive” laws are at the discretion of the judge or other sentencing authority. “Partial Laws” apply only to a certain type of offenders for example only repeat DUI offenders. Mandatory Laws apply to all drivers convicted of DUI. At the beginning of last year, 26 states had mandatory laws, 22 had partial laws and 2 had permissive laws.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that states with mandatory ignition interlock laws had a 7% decline in fatal crashes related to DUI.  The study was conducted by Emma E. McGinty, PhD, MS; Gregory Tung, PhD, MPH,; Juliana Shulman-Laniel, MPH; Rose Hardy, MPH; Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH; Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH; and Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH all from  Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colorado School of Public Health.

The researches analyzed crash data  from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) over a 32 year period. They compared the number of alcohol related fatal crashes before and after the ignition interlock laws were adopted by the various states. The study demonstrates that mandatory ignition laws are much more effective than the permissive or partial laws at preventing drunk driving fatal accidents.