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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 Tagged with car accident

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accident sceneThe National Highway Safety Administration was created 50 years ago in an effort to curb the number of Americans dying or getting injured in car crashes. Its role was to create safety standards for motor vehicles, supervise recalls in case of defects, educate people and conduct research on traffic safety as well as allocate safety grants to states.

Back in the days, when the agency was created, more than 50,000 people were killed very year in car accidents in the US.  It went down to 32,479 in 2011 and then gradually went back up to 36,120 last year.

Over the years the Agency had its ups and downs, the last four years were among the worst

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Snow stormIf you want to avoid getting injured during a snow storm in New York City, the best way is to stay home, wait for the snow to stop and for the sidewalks and roads to be cleaned before going out. However if you really have to or want to step out to enjoy some winter fun with the kids, make sure to wear proper shoes and exercise caution when walking around.

If you have to get somewhere you might think that you would be safer walking than driving. It might actually be quite the opposite.

In a study published last May in the Journal of the American Meteorological Society and entitled “Winter Storms and Fall-Related Injuries: Is It Safer to Walk than to Drive?” researchers analyzed the visits to hospital emergency rooms in a medium sized urban community, in Canada, during multiple snow storms. They found that, during a snow storm, visits to the emergency room for injuries caused by falls accounted in average for 64% more than visits to the ER caused by a motor vehicle 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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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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infant car seatTo protect children from serious head, neck and spinal injuries during a car crash, the NY Child Safety Seat Law requires that parents use a rear-facing car seat for all children younger than 2 year old.
Tests have demonstrated that infants have a head that is heavy compared to the rest of their body and that if they were sitting in a forward facing seat during a collision, they would be thrown forward and as a result suffer more serious injury.

While most parents do respect the law and install car seats for their little ones, previous research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that almost 60% of child seats are not installed properly

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Texting while driving can killApple recently dodged several  product liability lawsuits from families of victims of distracted driving crashes. The lawsuits claimed that Apple not only is aware that the Iphone triggers dangerous compulsive behaviors in some individuals but that the company has the technological means to prevent such behavior when a cellphone user is driving.

Back in 2008, the company submitted a patent for a lockout mechanism that disabled certain phone functions such as texting that could interfere with safe driving when the user is behind the wheel. In the patent, Apple indicated that it was fully aware of the dangers of its product by writing: “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the process”.  Later on in 2017 Apple briefly introduced a “Do not Disturb while Driving App”. The app had to be activated by the user and critics said that compulsive users would not be the one activating it.

Despite being aware of the danger of its product, Apple still hasn’t implemented any technology to protect innocent people from being killed on the road on a daily basis. So far all product litigation against the popular company has been dismissed.  One of the most recent ones involved the family of 5 year old Moriah Modisette.  Back in 2014, Moriah was in a car with her parents and her sister on a highway in Dallas when Garrett Wilhelm crashed into their car.  Moriah died and her parents and sister were injured. The investigation found that at the time of the accident Wilhem was chatting on FaceTime.

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drone assessing crash sceneSecondary traffic accidents are accidents that occur after a first accident mostly because the traffic conditions changed. When  a car accident occurs,  the road may be blocked for a significant time so that police can proprely assess the accident scene. As a result traffic conditions quickly change, with congestion increasing the risk of additional collisions especially rear-end crashes.  Studies show that secondary crashes go up by a factor of almost 24 when highway safety officials are assessing an accident scene.

REDUCED RISK OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

To try to speed up the assessment process, Engineers at Purdue University teamed up with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office to study how drones could help in assessing car accident scenes. They found that drones can significantly reduce the time to assess a crash scene. A drone can typically assess a crash scene in 5 to 8 minutes. As a result safety improves for everybody involved,  from officers securing and assessing the scene of the accident to emergency responders assisting the victims and regular road users stuck in the traffic congestion created by the accident. The faster the road is back to normal conditions, the safest it is for everybody.

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teens riding with teensA recent study by the AAA Foundation found that crashes involving a teen driver with other teen passengers in the car are 515% more deadly for road users than crashes involving a teen driver with passengers older than 35.

When teens ride together in a car and they are involved in an accident the fatality rate increases by:

  • 17% for pedestrians and cyclists
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preventing children injury in 2018The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) just released a compilation of their 10 most recent projects in their 2018 annual report. Here is a summary of their area of studies and findings:

  1. Some recent studies are questioning if  it may actually be safer for a child to be seated in a proper restraint system in the front passenger seat rather that in the back seat. The CChIPS conducted crash test studies with a child human body model called the PIPER. They found out that a six year old child seated in a high-back booster and forward-facing Child Restraint Seat (CRS) in the front passenger seating position was better protected from injuries in cars equipped with modern passenger airbags rather than cars with no airbags. These findings go against the common belief that airbags are dangerous for children. Additional tests are needed to validate these findings.
  2. Which booster seat design is best at protecting children from injury? Where should the belt be positioned? Would the addition of curtain airbag help prevent injuries in a car accident?
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mother texting while drivingDistracted driving has led to a surge in fatal car accidents and even parents with young children in their car admit that they use their phone while driving.

According to a study recently released by  the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and published in the Journal of Pediatrics, out of 760 parents or caregivers interviewed:

  • 47% talked on a hand-held phone