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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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Cumberland Farm Convenince Store43 year old Kimmy Dubuque was about to enter a Cumberland Farms convenience store when she was fatally pined against the store wall by an out of control SUV.  The car accident happened in Chicopee, Mass, the hometown of the victim in 2010. Yesterday, the Dubuque family was awarded $32.4 million plus interest by a Massachusetts jury in a case that highlights the high frequency of storefront crashes and the negligence ofCumberland Farms in failing to protect clients from dangers they were previously aware of.

Cumberland Farms is a privately held chain of convenience stores and gas stations spread all over the state of Massachusetts. The Dubuque family sued Cumberland Farm on the basis that despite many previous issues with cars speeding in their parking lot, Cumberland  Farms failed to install safety barriers and bollards which are a common safety fixtures in retail parking lots.  The lawsuit revealed that the fatal accident was far from being an isolated event. According to records submitted during the lawsuit, between 2000 and 2009 there were 485 similar incidents at Cumberland Farms convenience stores. This is almost one incident every week.  Lawyers for the family produced evidence that Cumberland Farms had looked into the issue and found that the best way to protect their customers would be to install arrays of 6-inch-wide bollards in front of their stores. This would cost $3000 to $3500 per store. The company picked narrower posts and thinner steel to reduce costs. Additionally this protection was only installed in half of the locations.

Storefront car crashes are common crashes. Fair Warning reports that 7-eleven had more than 1500 incidents in seven years and that similar incidents occur frequently at Starbucks and Dunkin Donut locations.  There are no official statistics about this phenomenon but according to Fair Warning at least 16 people (employees or customers) died and at least 587 suffered personal injury including 121 who were seriously hurt between April 2013 and April 2014. Most of these crashes could have been prevented if the owners had installed bollards or other type of safety barriers in front of their stores. These types of safety measures usually cost less that $10,000.

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teen driverRecent statistics show that 41% of teen drivers who died in car accidents were intoxicated. While drunk driving has been declining, driving while impaired by other substances such as  weed, other illegal drugs, prescription and OTC medication has increased significantly. The National Teen Driver Safety Week that will kick off on October 18th will focus on this particular issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in association with the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has developed material for schools and for parents to increase teen awareness about impaired driving.  Under the theme “Avoid the Regret – Avoid Impaired Driving” the campaign is seeking solutions to prevent teens deaths and injuries on the road.

Read more here

 

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PlanAhead-letterposter-232x300835 sales workers and truck drivers died in traffic accidents last year  according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). To raise awareness about these accidents and to reduce the number of drivers dying on the job, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is running its annual Drive Safely Work Week. For this year’s campaign, NETS is asking employers to extend driving safety awareness beyond company drivers and to address it to all their employees and their families. Traffic fatalities and injuries are not only causing pain and sorrow to families but they are also causing an economic burden to employers. A recent study demonstrates that in crashes resulting in injury, there is a nearly 1:1 ratio of the cost of on-the-job crashes to the cost of off-the-job crashes i.e. those that take place outside of work hours that also include non-company vehicle driver-employees and their dependents.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Plan Ahead”. Planning ahead for a road trip whether it takes place on the job or off seems like routine but simple tips such as those that follow can significantlty reduce the risk of an accident:

  • Plan your journey an allow sufficient time to get to your destination without stress
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BeforeAndAfterMINICooperSHalf a million people suffered personal injury and 1,700 died in more than 1.7 million rear-end vehicle accidents in 2012 in the US. Many of these accidents could have been avoided or at least mitigated if vehicles were equipped with collision warning systems paired with active braking systems according to a new Special Investigation Report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) entitled “The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes“.  In the report the NTSB demonstrates the efficiency of such systems and criticizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not doing enough and being to slow in implementing performance standards for these technologies. The  report also notes that manufacturers have too little incentive to add these technologies to their new vehicles.

Picture: before and after a rear-end crash courtesy of Wikipedia

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Teen drivingParents can play a big role in helping their children become safe drivers and avoid being injured or killed in a car accident. Thursday April 28th at 1:00 PM CST, the National Safety Council is organizing a webinar during which Jessica Mirman, PhD, a behavioral scientist and researcher on the Center for Injury Research and Prevention HOP’s Teen Driver Safety Research team, will share her recent research on the effectiveness of TeenDrivingPlan, a prototype interactive web-based application to help parents more effectively supervise driving practice. Another speaker Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of Teen Driving Initiatives for the National Safety Council, will talk about DriveitHome– a new resource from the National Safety Council designed to support parents of newly licensed teens. Read more here

 

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The salt used to melt ice and snow on the roads can corrode old car’s brake pipes which may result in dangerous car accidents. People who own a model older than 2007 should get their brakes checked and thoroughly clean their vehicle including the undercarriage warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a recent press release.  The NHTSA found that seven to eight years of exposure to winter road salts could result in brake pipe corrosion as the agency was conducting an investigation of brake pipe failure due to corrosion on 2 million 1999 through 2003 models of GM trucks and SUV’s. The investigation determined that the brake pipe failure was the result of end-of-life wear out and the NHTSA decied not to recall the vehicles. However the agency is asking vehicle owners that drive cars older than 2007 to check their brakes if they live in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Brake corrosion can lead to traffic accidents

Picture source: NHTSA

 

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NSC35,400 people died and 4.3 million people suffered personal injury that required medical attention last year on American roads according to preliminary statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC). The number of crash fatalities is 0.5% higher than in 2013 however because 2014 was a year of economical expansion during which the estimated mileage on US roads increased 1.4%, the estimated annual mileage death rate was 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a decrease of 1% from the 2013 rate. It is also the lowest NSC preliminary estimate ever recorded. The number of personal injuries that occurred during a crash in 2014 was unchanged.  Read more in Automotive Fleeet

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When a car accident occurs, some cars are safer than others and will  protect occupants from severe personal injury or death more effectively. The Buick encore and its cheaper version, the Chevrolet Trax just earned the Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To qualify for Top Safety Pick a car  must earn a “good” or “acceptable” rating for small overlap protection and a “good” rating in the institute’s moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint crash tests. The 2015 Encore received the highest score (“good”) in the small overlap crash test compared to the 2014 model which was rated “poor” in the same test a year before. The small overlap test replicates a collision during which the front corner of a car hits another car or an object such as a light pole or a tree. Read more in the IIHS press release

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speed%20cameras.jpgToo many children in New York City died or suffered personal injury because a speeding car hit them on their way to or from their school.

To prevent these types of accidents and as part of the Vision Zero initiative, the NYC Department of Transportation started to install speed-cameras in school zones. 19 cameras have been installed so far in the city.

Last September the speed-cameras indicated that on average 3,539 drivers in a day drove at least 10 mph over the limit. As word spread about the cameras, drivers became more careful and in December he average number of drivers speeding at least 10 mph over the speed limit went down to 1461.

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Winter%20Weather%20Driving.jpgWinter weather conditions make the roads more dangerous and increase the risk of a car accident that could result in severe personal injury or death. Before you take a trip make sure to check the weather forecast and the road conditions and also verify if you need tire chains. Safe driving is key to prevent car accidents during the winter. Here are a few basic safety tips that can make a big difference when driving on wintry roads:

– Brush the snow and the ice from your car before driving – Buckle up. Seat belts are the most effective way to prevent death or severe injuries in a crash – Check the weather forecast and plan ahead what you will do if conditions are getting worse – Allow yourself a lot of extra time to your destination – Keep your headlights on all the time so you are more visible to others
– Drive smoothly, abrupt driving maneuvers such as sudden braking can be fatal – Lower your speed and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you