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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Car Accidents Could be Reduced with More Taxi Driver Training

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Traffic in New York City, especially Manhattan, is usually a sea of yellow because of all the cabs crowding the city streets.  Not surprisingly, many of the car accidents in Manhattan involve cabs. Overall in New York City, between eight and 10 percent of motor vehicle accidents involve yellow cabs and livery cabs.  Even though this is a disproportionately low percentage of crashes, taxi accidents appear to cause more serious injuries than those involving other vehicles, perhaps because taxi drivers often operate faster than drivers of personal cars. And the proportion of taxis involved in traffic accidents appears to be inching up, according to statistics provided by New York State.

Drunk Driver Causes Chaos on 34th Street

An allegedly drunk driver hit multiple holiday shoppers in Herald Square last week, sending five to local hospitals.  According to news reports, the vehicle hit an SUV, a taxi and the plate-glass window of the store Forever 21.  One pedestrian was pinned under the vehicle, a Ford Mustang.

The driver was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident and with driving on a suspended license.  Her blood alcohol content was reported to be over the legal limit and police reported finding a crack pipe in the driver’s purse.  

Several of the injured pedestrians were foreign visitors to the city enjoying the 34th Street shopping mecca.  

Brooklyn Man Killed in Pedestrian Accident

The attorneys at the New York law firm Block O'Toole & Murphy are following a recent Brooklyn crash that left a 55 year-old man dead.

The pedestrian was struck by an Access-a-Ride Bus in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. The accident, which occurred early Sunday evening, took place at Neptune and W. Sixth Street. The circumstances of the accident have not yet been revealed but there is an investigation underway. Thus far, the driver of the bus has not been charged, as there is no evidence that any criminal conduct was involved. A determination of fault has not been made, though early indications are that the pedestrian had the right of way.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and those who loved him.

Two Fires Leave Victims Seriously Burned

Cold weather is often accompanied by house and apartment fires.  People use space heaters, old heating systems fail when first put to the test in the fall, and the homeless sometimes start fires accidentally in their efforts to get warm. All of these scenarios can lead to fires that result in serious burns or wrongful death.

As an example, two victims suffered serious burn injuries over the weekend, one in Harlem and the other in Queens. 

Plan to Reduce Traffic Accidents at Lincoln Center to Be Unveiled

Anyone who has tried to go to a performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center knows that it is often difficult to get there.  Whether a person is walking, going by taxi, or emerging from the subway at 66th Street, it’s a real challenge to get to the destination on time and uninjured. 

Metro-North Train Accident, One Year Later

On the one-year anniversary of the Metro-North train crash, has anything changed to convince passengers that they are safe when taking trains to New York City from upstate New York and Connecticut?  On December 1, 2013, a train from Poughkeepsie bound for Grand Central station derailed at Spuyten Dyvil in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring more than 60.

The engineer was found to have fallen asleep and the train hit a sharp curve at 82  mph. He was later diagnosed with sleep apnea made worse by a recent shift change.  Almost all the cars in the seven-car train jumped the tracks, several landing very close the edge of the water. 

November Bus Accident Leaves 26 Injured Near Syracuse, NY

It’s amazing no one was killed in an upstate New York bus accident near Syracuse last month.  A Trailways motor coach bound for New York City hit a car abandoned in the middle of I-81 . The crash occurred in the early morning hours of November 6. Although 26 people were transported to local hospitals for treatment, only the bus driver sustained life-threatening injuries.

Some Minivans Fare Poorly in Car Accidents, According to IIHS

Minivans are supposed to be safe.  After all, isn’t that why millions of suburban moms drive them? 

It turns out that these vehicles are not as safe as you might think, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Crash tests conducted by the institute revealed that the Nissan Quest in particular was especially hazardous to occupants in a crash.  According to the executive vice present of the Insurance Institute, “A person experiencing this would be lucky to ever walk normally again.” The driver’s side door was pushed in two feet during the test crash.  The Quest has received positive ratings in the past in different types of test.

The most recent test evaluates how minivans respond in small overlap collisions in which the front corner of the vehicle strikes a stationary object such as a lamp post or fire hydrant at 40 mph. Five minivans were tested: the Nissan Quest, the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna, the Dodge Caravan and the Chrysler Town and Country were tested. This test is one of the most common and most deadly accidents faced by drivers.

Car Accidents Mostly Caused by Distracted Driving and Weather

A recent broadcast on CNBC discussed the issue of car accidents and statistics related to them.   Here are some:

  • There is one motor vehicle accident in the U.S. every 10 seconds.
  • The average U.S. driver has an accident once every ten years.
  • 25 percent of accidents result in injury.
  • One percent of accidents causes death.
  • Young male drivers are the most dangerous.
  • Northeastern cities such as New York have the highest rates of motor vehicle accidents. This is not related to driving habits but rather dense populations and congested, older roads.
  • Distracted driving is the main cause of car accidents. Between 25 and 50 percent of crashes result from some type of distracted driving, according to AAA.

2013 Numbers Show an Increase in Traffic Injuries and Fatalities

Last month, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles released the official statistics of injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents in New York City.  It turns out that the recent implementation of the new 25 mph default speed limit in the city is very timely, as according to Streetsblog, traffic injuries reached an all-time high in 2013.

The number of overall traffic injuries grew by about two percent between 2012 and 2013.  Pedestrian injuries rose five percent and bicyclist injuries increased by eight percent.  In total, vehicle drivers injured 11,398 pedestrians and 3,817 cyclists in 2013.

There was also an eight percent increase in the total number of traffic fatalities in 2013. Both injuries and fatalities were greater than in any of the previous five years. Within this category, pedestrian deaths increased from 135 to 183, after four years of decreased numbers of deaths. Consistent with previous years, motorists injured 4,278 children; eight were killed. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury death among children in the city.