New York City Personal Injury Blog

Truckers may become less distracted with new tech

According to data analytics firm Zendrive, an estimated 69 million drivers in New York and across the U.S. use their phones every day while behind the wheel. At any given hour, approximately 40 percent of the nation's drivers are using their phones at least once. This is especially bad because cellphone use is behind 26 percent of all collisions.

Cellphones are just one form of technology that's contributing to the rise in distracted driving with GPS settings and infotainment systems also taking many drivers' attention from the road. Commercial truck drivers are at a particularly high risk, but several companies have produced new tech that could reduce this risk.

New York man who caused accident charged with homicide

A 37-year-old New York man who is accused of being under the influence of drugs when he caused a fatal accident on the Long Island Expressway in March has been charged with vehicular homicide. The Suffolk County district attorney announced that the charges against the man had been upgraded on May 4. The man faces a total of 20 felony and misdemeanor counts including charges of manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated vehicular assault and driving while impaired by drugs.

According to police, the man was traveling in the westbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway near the William Floyd Parkway when his Ford pickup truck struck a Honda minivan. Officers say that the man was driving erratically at the time and had swerved off the roadway on at least two occasions before striking the minivan. Reports indicate that the man's pickup truck then crossed over the center median and into the path of eastbound traffic where it struck a motorcycle and a Toyota minivan.

The dangers of being an NYC sanitation worker

Sanitation workers deserve more respect than they receive. Keeping NYC streets clean is not only a demanding and continuous job but also one that comes with more dangers than most people think. In fact, the sanitation industry has the most fatalities in New York, reveals Safety and Health Magazine. 

Waste management is more than just dirty; it is also highly dangerous, resulting in injuries and deaths from these common causes.

Road to Zero Coalition takes aim at road fatalities

Motor vehicle accidents claimed the lives of more than 37,000 road uses in New York and around the country in 2017 according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but a group of road safety experts believe that this figure could be reduced to zero by 2050. A report released on April 22 by the Road to Zero Coalition, which is managed by the National Safety Council, suggests that this goal could be accomplished by encouraging vehicle occupants to fasten their safety belts, supporting new safety technology such as autonomous accident avoidance systems and creating a culture of safety that frowns on reckless behavior behind the wheel.

The Road to Zero Coalition says that the strategies they are promoting to cut down car accident rates will also reduce the number of people killed each year in crashes involving large trucks. Commercial vehicle accidents killed 4,317 people in 2017 according to NHTSA, and the vast majority of these fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes that technology provides the coalition with the most effective way to lower this annual death toll.

Construction site accidents can take deadly toll

Construction workers in New York can face daily dangers on the job. Whether digging deep tunnels underground or constructing the newest towering building, construction work often involves heavy materials, complex machinery and unfinished structures. These inherent dangers can be greatly intensified when defective equipment is used or when a contractor violates safety standards in the workplace. Across the board, construction fatalities show a rising trend; from 2011 to 2015, the number of workers killed in construction accidents rose 26 percent.

The rise in deaths due to construction site accidents has involved increasing numbers of certain types of accidents. For example, the Center for Construction Research and Training says that fatal accidents in which construction workers were caught between or inside an object rose by 33 percent during those same four years. Older workers and those under 20 years of age were most likely to lose their lives; approximately 67 percent were killed by falling materials of some kind. In addition, 800 workers lost their lives being struck by equipment or objects on the job. Of those, 18 percent were hit by a vehicle and 51 percent of the fatalities were caused by falling equipment or other objects.

Technology startup hopes to reduce truck driver fatigue

More than 70 percent of the goods used around the country are transported by road, and New York truck drivers work as many as 70 hours during an eight-day workweek to keep up with consumer demand. Road safety statistics reveal that truck driver fatigue plays a role in about 100,000 accidents each year, and many of these crashes are catastrophic in nature because drowsy or sleeping drivers are unable to take evasive action.

A technology startup company in Oklahoma hopes that the kind of wearable technology that tells joggers how fast their hearts are beating and how many calories they have burned can be adapted to prevent truck driver fatigue. The entrepreneurs and scientists behind BlyncSync met while studying at the University of Oklahoma, and they hope that the technology being developed by the company will make life easier for truck drivers and the nation's highways safer for all road users.

New York City accident injures 6 and causes long delays

New York police have reported that six people were injured the morning of March 30 in an accident on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens County. The crash caused all of the busy highway's eastbound lanes to be closed for more than three hours. Paramedics transported the accident victims, three of whom had been injured critically, to the trauma center of the New York-Presbyterian hospital. Initial reports indicate that excessive speed may have been the primary cause of the crash.

According to a New York City Police Department report, the sequence of events began when a Honda Accord sedan driven by a 20-year-old man struck the central guardrail and spun into the rear of a Mini Cooper. Police say the Honda struck the Mini with such force that three of its occupants were ejected. The car accident took place in the vicinity of the Van Wyck Expressway and Jewel Avenue exits at approximately 8:15 a.m.

Court grants less burden of proof on motions for personal injury plaintiffs

When the negligence of an individual or corporate entity leads to an accident and your personal injury, you can sue the responsible party for damages. The awards you receive help you pay for immediate and long-term health care bills, make up for lost income or employment and, in some cases, compensate for pain and suffering. 

What if you were partially at fault for the incident? New York is a comparative negligence state, meaning that whatever percentage of accountability is yours impacts how much money you can recover. In some cases, legal issues of fault can be resolved by the court before trial, in a procedure called "summary judgment."  Until recently, people bringing lawsuits were required not only to prove the other party's fault but also prove your their innocence when seeking  summary judgment. However, a ruling by the state Court of Appeals has just changed that requirement.

AAA survey measures increase in drivers using cellphones

Drivers in New York too often give into the temptation to use their phones behind the wheel, and a national poll confirms the prevalence of distracted driving. A new survey of 2,613 licensed drivers by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed a 46 percent increase in drivers who admitted to talking on their phones while driving compared to a 2013 survey. The survey also asked people if they believed that distracted driver threatened safety, and 88 percent of respondents acknowledged the dangers.

Close to 50 percent of drivers said that they had spoken on a hand-held phone, and 45 percent had read text messages and emails. Another 35 percent responded that they had composed and sent texts or emails from their vehicles. A 58 percent majority of survey takers considered their cellphone use behind the wheel a serious danger. Even more people, 78 percent, viewed texting while driving as very dangerous. A minority at just above 40 percent believed that the law should completely ban the activities.

3 common severe car accident injuries

You are lucky if you are uninjured in a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency room for motor vehicle accident injuries in 2012. Almost 200,000 of these people went to the hospital afterward.

Auto accidents may cause minor or severe injuries to various parts of your body. Here are some of the most common life-threatening injuries that occur because of car collisions.

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