Michael J. Gaffney Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY
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Staten Island Personal Injury Law Blog

Study indicates number of distracted drivers getting worse

In New York and across the U.S., smartphones have become so ubiquitous that everyone is seemingly looking at it regardless of what they are doing. That includes when they are driving. Smartphone "addiction" might sound like an odd description, but studies are indicating that it is undoubtedly accurate. People cannot stop themselves from constantly checking their device. This is a common cause of distracted drivers, auto accidents, injuries and fatalities. A new study from Zendrive hammers home this dangerous reality.

According to the study, those who were found to be unable to stop using their device drove more frequently than others. These individuals drove 150 percent more often and traveled 760 percent more miles than an average driver in the U.S. The percentage of those who are addicted to their phones increased by 42 percent in the past year to eight percent from 4.6 percent. More worryingly, they are a constant on the road.

Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries due to speeding cop car

So many drivers ignore New York City motorcyclists by failing to yield, do not pay sufficient attention to keep them safe, and operate their vehicles recklessly when sharing the road with them that there are many motorcycle accidents with injuries and fatalities. These motorcyclists have enough to think about in trying to stay safe while doing what they love in riding bikes without having to watch for reckless law enforcement vehicles. However, even police cars can be guilty of failing to watch for motorcycle riders and causing a crash. Those who were injured can file a lawsuit regardless of who was driving the car that caused their accident.

A 53-year-old motorcyclist was on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn when a law enforcement vehicle sped by and cut him off. He fell off his bike and was injured. The accident happened in the mid-morning at around 10:30 a.m. He heard the police cruiser's siren and saw the vehicle speed by on his left. He lost control of his bike and fell. A friend followed the cruiser and when it got off the Belt Parkway, the lieutenant in the vehicle would not get out. The injured man was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having dislocated both of his shoulders. He also broke his thumb and suffered a shoulder fracture. An investigation is ongoing to determine what happened.

Crash kills car wash worker in New York

Auto accidents can happen in many ways and can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Car wash employees are especially at risk as one wrong turn or accidental acceleration can cause an accident. When people are hurt by a vehicle while at work, it is important to know how to file a lawsuit.

A car wash worker died when a vehicle crashed into him. As the driver was making a turn, the vehicle accelerated and hit the employee and pinned him against a wall. Emergency responders were called, and the man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The investigation is continuing, but it is believed to have been an accident and criminal activity is not suspected.

Research shows banning texting and driving effective

Anecdotal and statistical evidence show just how dangerous distracted driving is in New York and across the country. In 2016 alone, distracted drivers caused almost 3,500 deaths and 391,000 injuries. Research shows how laws designed to discourage drivers from texting and driving have improved safety. This new research considered not only the number of fatalities caused by distracted driving, but also looked at the number of accidents. States that have banned texting and driving have seen a notable decrease in the number of car accidents that occur each year. Regardless, when a car crash happens, people who have been injured or lost a loved one should consider a lawsuit.

In the U.S., 47 states have enacted laws that restrict texting and driving. In states with some form of texting restriction, there was a four percent reduction in the number of emergency room visits. States with primary bans had an eight percent reduction.

Elderly pedestrian dies after being hit by a car in Staten Island

When Staten Islanders cross the street in a crosswalk, drivers are required by law to yield to them. Unfortunately, many drivers do not adhere to the law, especially when it comes to pedestrians. Some drivers are distracted, reckless or under the influence. Others are simply not being cautious. Given their vulnerability, pedestrians can suffer serious injuries and fatalities when they are struck by a car. Understanding the necessary steps to pursue compensation in a legal filing is imperative for accident victims.

An elderly grandfather was severely injured when he was hit by a turning car as he crossed the street. The 71-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with head trauma after the crash. He was declared dead the next day. According to the investigation, he was in the intersection when a car driven by a 17-year-old male turned left and hit him. The teen was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian and not exercising due care.

Dog owners can take steps to prevent bites

A dog bite is nothing to take lightly. Even a minor bite places you at risk of infection if it breaks the skin. A more serious dog attack can leave you with deep wounds, multiple stitches, muscle damage and disfiguring scars. Some dogs have jaws so powerful they can break your bones when they bite. It does not take much for a determined dog to cause a fatal injury.

While some jurisdictions in New York and elsewhere have banned specific breeds because of their naturally aggressive nature and physical strength, others agree that the risk that a dog will bite often relates to the actions of the owner. If you or your child suffered injuries from a dog bite, you may have questions about the appropriate course of action for seeking compensation.

Despite improvements, smartphones still create auto accident risk

When Staten Islanders and people throughout New York are taught to drive, they are told that the most important aspect of being safe behind the wheel is to watch the road. This is fundamental. However, with the number of people who have smartphones reaching 77 percent in the U.S., it is unavoidable that many drivers will behave as distracted drivers through texting and driving, surfing the web and making calls among other activities. Smartphone manufacturers and carmakers are seeking to mitigate the risk by devising ways to improve safety and let drivers maintain their focus on the road. Even with that, there are still dangers. Knowing how these devices can simultaneously augment safety and be a detriment to safety is important, especially after a crash.

Having a device handy is beneficial when help is needed in an emergency. Several companies allow for location sharing in real-time allowing people to keep track of loved ones without the need for dangerous calls and texts. After auto accidents, there are apps that can contact emergency services for assistance. Hands-free devices are much better than they were in the past. Many smartphones allow for voice commands so people can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

Study says fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise

With the number of pedestrians on the road in Staten Island and throughout New York, it is no surprise there are pedestrian accidents with injuries and fatalities. These incidents occur often and there are many reasons for them. Researchers assess and analyze statistics to determine the cause and try to find ways to prevent them, saving people from injury and death. Unfortunately, there are ancillary factors in every issue and with pedestrian accidents, a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says that SUVs are a major cause for the rise in these crashes. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in a pedestrian crash should be cognizant of the potential cause if they would like to file a lawsuit for compensation.

In 2018, the number of pedestrian fatalities reached its highest point in 28 years. Across the nation, there was a 4 percent rise from 2017 to 2018 and 6,227 people were killed in pedestrian accidents. The researchers analyzed the numbers from the first half of the year and their totals come from extrapolation. With SUVs, there was a 50 percent increase in pedestrian deaths involving these vehicles from 2013 to 2017. In that time, pedestrian deaths in crashes with passenger cars rose by 30 percent. Pedestrians have less of a chance of surviving a crash with an SUV.

Automobile fatalities stay worryingly high according to NSC study

Staten Islanders and people throughout New York should be concerned about auto accidents when they are on the road in any capacity -- as drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Road safety is an understandable worry since one of the main causes of injury and death in the U.S. is through motor vehicle collisions. While car companies are trying to devise ways to improve safety, driver behaviors are getting worse and, as a result, there has been a stagnation in auto fatality statistics. People who have been injured or had a loved one die in a crash should consider the statistics and the reasons why the accidents happened so they can think about a legal filing for compensation.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 2018 was the third consecutive year in which the number of road deaths surpassed 40,000. There is a minor positive in the statistics in that there was a reduction of 231 from 2017 -- approximately 1 percent. Still, the numbers are still troublingly high. Since 2014, there has been an increase of 14 percent. As for injuries, 4.5 million people suffered serious injuries in 2018. That too saw a decrease of 1 percent from the prior year. Some states were better than others in terms of improving road safety. In the Metropolitan Area, New Jersey was one state that had a reduction of at least 9.4 percent.

Some tools may help you to prove fault in car crash

Experiencing a motor vehicle wreck can no doubt be unsettling. However, in addition to leaving you feeling emotionally and physically shaken, a car crash can leave you feeling frustrated if a fellow driver's carelessness caused it.

Fortunately, if somebody else's negligence behind the wheel has caused you to suffer major injuries, it is within your rights to seek to hold him or her accountable in civil court in New York. Two tools -- police reports and state law -- may help with strengthening your civil case and therefore boost your chances of obtaining monetary compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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