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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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
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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.