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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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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.

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old woman using cell phone behind the wheelDistracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in New York City  and in the US.  While teenagers and young drivers are often perceived as the most susceptible to use their cell phone while driving, a new study indicates that seniors are indeed as bad or even worst than the kids.

While previous statistics indicate that around 50% of young drivers recognize that they are talking on the phone while driving, a new study found out that nearly 60% of seniors say they are doing exactly the same.  Conducted by a group of researchers from the Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, the study looked at the driving habits of 397 Southern Californians age 65 and older. Among the 82% of them who said they  owned a cell phone, 60% said they spoke on the phone while behind the wheel.

These statistics are extremely alarming as when people get older their driving can be reduced by additional factor such as a medical condition or medication use. Alertness and mental processing also often decrease as people are getting older.

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Car crashes are the leading cause of deaths among American teens. The majority of the serious teen car accidents are the result of a critical error committed by the driver.  Parents play an important role in teaching their teens how to drive safely and avoid dangerous driving errors.

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CIRP@CHOP) has a dedicated team that specializes in improving teen driver safety. They have their own website  http://www.teendriversource.org/ and provide valuable resources to teens, parents and professionals working with teens.

Among the most downloaded resources is the “Teen Driving Plan Practice Guide” a guide for parents to effectively supervise their teens’ driving practice. Researchers have found that teen drivers whose parents were using that guide were 65% less likely to commit dangerous driving errors.  This popular guide is also available in a YouTube video format. The Teen Driving Plan Practice Guide You Tube Channel features 52 videos dedicated to parents who wants to effectively supervise their teens’ driving practice.