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New York City Personal Injury Blog

Mass transit accidents in New York cause very real concerns

There is traffic of all kinds in New York, and lots of it. In terms of accidents, taxi or truck collisions may come to mind. However, many people who work in the city travel by commuter trains.  

One particularly horrendous crash in 2016 has left commuters feeling uneasy about train transit -- and yet, they have few options or no options at all.

Study shows collision avoidance systems reduce injury crashes

Collision avoidance systems can significantly reduce injury car crashes in New York and nationwide, according to a 2017 study. Conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it analyzed the impact of warning systems on traffic safety.

For the study, researchers identified more than 5,000 car crashes in 2015 that were caused by lane departures and blind spots. They then compared the performance of vehicles with collision avoidance technology to those without it. They found that vehicles with lane departure and blind spot warning systems were 11 percent less likely to be involved in single-vehicle, head-on and sideswipe accidents. When those types of accidents did occur, collision avoidance systems reduced the rate of those that resulted in injuries by 21 percent.

How to prevent driving distractions

Some New York drivers may be distracted by their smartphones or by devices in their cars while they are behind the wheel. Many safety experts blame distracted drivers for the rise in traffic fatalities. Distractions can include making adjustments in the car such as temperature control as well as any actions that lead to drivers looking away from the road.

Increasingly, apps and smartphone features are available to help reduce driver distraction. It may be possible to block alerts or get apps that will automatically reply to texts or emails. However, all of these are voluntary. According to Consumer Reports, drivers should keep the phone out of sight to avoid temptation.

Proposed bill would mandate additional underride guards

Each year in New York, a number of accidents involving large trucks are underride collisions. These accidents happen when smaller vehicles slide under the large trucks, and they often lead to fatalities and catastrophic injuries.

In order to address the problem of underride crashes, bipartisan legislation has been ntroduced in both the Senate and the House. The Senate bill was presented by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Marco Rubio. The legislation would require trucking carriers to install underride guards on the sides and the fronts of the trucks in their fleets. It would also require updated standards for rear underride guards. Currently, trucking carriers are only required to have guards on the rear ends of the vehicles, but the standards for them are outdated.

Speeding a major factor in fatal car accidents

In New York and across the United States, traffic fatalities have escalated over the past several years. This has been attributed to several factors, including a growing number of motorists and distracted driving and walking due to smartphone use. However, the National Transportation Safety Board indicates that the main factor in this growing number of deaths is speed.

The NTSB noted that speeding is killing Americans in car crashes across the country. In 112,580 traffic deaths between 2005 and 2014, speeding was considered to be the primary factor,. That number constitutes 31 percent of all traffic fatalities during these years. Almost the same number of people were killed by drunk drivers during that period. The NTSB report states that drunk driving and speeding share some common characteristics and risks, as both enhance the probability of crashes as well as the potential for death or serious injury.

Truck accident precautions

New York residents might like to know about the latest efforts to make the roads safer when it comes to motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks. When cars crash into tractor-trailers or semis, the vehicles can slide underneath the larger trucks. This is very dangerous and often results in fatalities. A bill proposed on Dec. 9 would require trucks to be equipped with front and side guards to prevent cars from sliding underneath the trucks.

Side underride crashes kill more than 200 people annually, and the National Transportation Safety Board had recommended the guard features. The bill has bipartisan support and is intended to save lives. Currently, only rear guards are mandated for large trucks. The need for more protection was first called to attention almost 50 years ago when actress Jayne Mansfield was killed in a highway crash. Rear guards became a requirement in 1998.

Traumatic brain injuries are a common result of accidents

Traumatic brain injuries often happen due to car crashes, falls and other situations where the head sustains an impact. Thus, if you suffered an accident, TBI may number among the consequences.

While severe TBI symptoms tend to show up faster and are harder to mistake for something else, signs of mild or moderate TBI can be easier to overlook at first. However, they too can seriously affect your life in the long term, so it is important to get the right care as soon as possible.

Recovering from a spinal cord injury

A spinal cord injury is a serious form of trauma that requires prompt medical care and ongoing treatment. If you get a spinal cord injury, you may have a lot of concerns about your prognosis.

While the quickness and completeness of your recovery depend on the extent of the damage to your spinal cord, there are some things you and your doctor can do to get better. After your initial emergency treatment, which may include medications, surgery or immobilization, here is what ongoing care for your spinal cord injury may look like.

Motorists should give big rigs plenty of road space

"Wide open spaces" is a term that usually refers to the American West. In New York, however, it might aptly apply to rules of the road. Motorists should remember to leave plenty of space between them and big rigs when it comes to sharing the state's highways.

For motorists who drive next to big rigs, space can mean the difference between life and death. Semi-trucks require more room to brake, turn and pass. If they don't get the necessary room, a truck accident could occur. For example, it takes a truck twice as long to stop as a car. Therefore, savvy drivers should never stop suddenly if they're in front of a truck. If a truck has to stop suddenly, it could plow into the vehicle in front, ending up on top of the car. Nearly 70 percent of fatalities in car-truck accidents are to occupants of the car.

Possible CTE diagnosis may give concussion patients hope

If you are a football fan or played the game in high school or college, you may be familiar with the medical term CTE, meaning chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a brain disease that results from repeated strikes to the head. Not surprisingly, former professional football players have shown to be susceptible to the condition, as well as members of the military, boxers and professional fighters. However, there may be cause for anyone in New York and elsewhere who has suffered multiple concussions or minor head blows over a lifetime to be concerned that they may develop this destructive disease, especially since it cannot be positively diagnosed when you are alive.

CTE can be devastating for sufferers and their families. Some of the symptoms you or a loved one might experience include memory loss, confusion, aggression and depression. The disease may be difficult to treat because there is no way to know for certain whether you have it.

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