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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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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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car accidentDespite a significant decline  in the number of average miles driven on American roads during the pandemic, the number of car accident fatalities exploded. While multiple studies found that most fatal car accidents during the pandemic were caused by reckless behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving or drugged driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tried, in a new study to find out the underlying mechanisms leading to this increase in dangerous driving.

In 2020, the foundation collected data from 2,888 drivers who had been driving between October 23rd 2020 and November 23rd 2020.  Drivers were asked if they reduced, increased or did not change their driving habits because of the pandemic. Participants were also asked if over the 30 days under study they had engaged in risky behavior such as talking on a cellphone, texting, emailing, speeding on highways, speeding on residential streets, running red lights, switching lanes aggressively, drowsy driving, driving without a seatbelt, driving after drinking alcohol, driving after using marijuana.

The study found that drivers who reduced the most their driving habits were 50 year old female drivers and the ones who increased the most their driving habits were males 39 year old and younger.  50 year+ females were also the category of drivers that were taking the less risks on the road while 39- males were the category taking the most risks on the road.

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Tesla Motors is facing product liability lawsuitsA 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

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car accident 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:

  1. Serious injuries and death are not acceptable: the goal of the system is to eliminate catastrophic accidents
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car accident in NYC38,680 people died in auto accidents in the US in 2020 compared to 36,096 a year earlier according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 7.2 % increase in crashes occurred as the total number of miles travelled by motor vehicles decreased by 13.2%, an indication that roads were much more dangerous during the pandemic. The rate of fatalities by 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) raised from 1.1 VMT in 2019 to 1.37 VMT in 2021. This is the highest rate of crash fatalities recorded in the US since 2007.

The region that includes NY, NJ, CT, and PA had  the highest increase of fatal auto accidents

When looking at the increase of fatal motor vehicle accidents by regions between 2019 and 2020, region 2 that includes NY, PA NJ and CT was the worst with a 10% increase in traffic accident deaths.

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road work signRoad construction accidents have been increasing during the pandemic. According to a recent article in Construction Dive, 60% of contractors reported an increase in crashes in their work zone last year.

During the lockdown as construction work was deemed essential in many States, Department of Transportation officials thought that significantly less cars on the road would provide a good opportunity for them to execute some road work without blocking and disturbing too much traffic.  However, with less traffic on the road, speeding and other reckless driving behavior increased and contractors reported  more crashes in highway work zones all over the country during the lockdown.  In a PEW study that was released last year, many States recorded an increased in work zone crashes despite a decline in traffic in the US by 40% in April and 26% in May.

444 reckless drivers ticketed during Operation Hard Hat in NY State

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child in carCar accidents are one of the leading causes of  injuries and deaths for children. In the US, 636 children under 12 year old died and 97,000 were injured in car crashes in 2018.

From researching child restraint performance to analyzing teenager behavior behind the wheel and testing safety of future autonomous vehicles, the Center for Child Injury Prevention Study  has been constantly researching and advocating for better ways to protect children on the road.

Among their most recent studies,  researchers at CChIPS  have been looking at the validity of  recommendations for rear-facing Child Restraint System (CRS) using newly available real car accident injury data.

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headquarter of HyundaiOwners of selected models of Hyundai Genesis cars as well as other electric models have been warned by Hyundai that their cars were at risk of catching fire and should be parked away from home and other structures or flammable material until they repair their vehicles.

Models of Hyundai Genesis sold in 2015 and 2016, Hyundai Genesis G80 sold between 2017 and 2020 and Hyundai Genesis G70 sold between 2019 and 2021 might have defective anti-lock brake system modules that could malfunction internally and cause an electrical short resulting in engine compartment fire while driving or during parking. Owners of these vehicles must get them repaired and make sure to park them away from their home or other structures that might catch fire until repairs are done.

Hyundai also issued another recall for fire on some of its electrical vehicles. Some 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric and 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric vehicles might have defective battery cells causing internal electric shorts that can result in a fire while driving, parking or charging the battery. The owners of these vehicles have also been asked by Hyundai to park their vehicle away from anything that could catch fire until the defect is repaired.  Hyundai is facing similar problems in Korea and vehicle owners are not happy about the manner Hyundai has been handling the repair according to a recent article in Reuters .

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Teen speeding is a leading cause of fatalitiesSpeeding is the cause of many fatal crashes especially among teenagers. A recent analysis conducted by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting for the Governors Highway Safety Associations found that teen drivers and passengers account for a much greater proportion of speeding related fatalities than any other age group.

From 2015 to 2019, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in car accidents related to speed. Speed related accidents accounted for 43% of all teen fatal car accidents. As a comparison speed is a factor in 30% of all fatal accidents for people above 20.

Globally, car accidents remain the main cause of fatalities among teens with the 16 year old’s being the most at risk

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accident scene28,190 people died in car accidents in the US in the first 9 months of 2020 compared to 26,941 during the same period of 2019.  This represents a 4.6% increase in car accidents fatalities in the US while at the same time the umber of miles travelled decreased by 14.5 %.  These numbers are early estimates recently published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

First a decline during the lockdown and then an explosion of deaths

While looking at each month’s fatalities, data show that during the lock down fatalities declined significantly and then exploded after things gradually reopened. In March 2020 car crash fatalities in the US were down by 7.7%, in April by 19% and in May by 2.7%. Then, in June  2020, crash deaths increased by 16% compared to June 2019, by 13% in July, by 13% in August and by 13% in September.