Garden City Personal Injury Blog

Changes in driving rules for truckers

New York motorists should be aware that the Department of Transportation plans to scale back federal rules on the number of hours truck drivers can remain driving before being required to rest. The trucking industry has long since been advocating for a relaxing of the rules. Detractors of the federal agency's plans state that such a move will make the regulations inadequate and will result in safety hazards as a result of fatigued drivers.

The federal regulations that are in place now require long-haul truck drivers to drive no more than 11 hours within a 14-hour period of being on duty. The drivers are also required to have had 10 straight hours of being off duty before their on-duty period begins again. Also, any truckers who will be driving in excess of eight hours are required to take a 30-minute break before the eight-hour mark arrives.

Phone addiction creates crises on the roads

There is a very real consequence of so many people being connected through the internet and digital devices. That consequence is addiction.

You probably know at least one person who can't be away from their phone at any time. They check it while driving, while parked, while eating dinner and at every moment they can. This addiction isn't healthy, and it puts them at risk of being involved in or causing a crash.

IIHS: drivers overestimate the capabilities of ADAS

Many drivers in New York are under the impression that advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, are able to replace them behind the wheel. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted a study to see just how widespread these misconceptions are. Researchers say that drivers' ignorance, combined with imperfect technology and misleading advertising from the automakers themselves, is creating a dangerous situation.

Of the more than 2,000 participants in the IIHS study, nearly half believed that the Autopilot program (by Tesla) would allow them to drive without ever touching the steering wheel. Over 30% thought it would be safe to talk on the phone while driving with Autopilot on. A small group even assumed that Autopilot would allow them to take a nap.

Defective hernia mesh products may cause serious conditions

Shortly after their development in the 1950s, hernia mesh products became a widely accepted way to repair hernias. However, not all of these products are safe. Some are made of materials that have not been sufficiently tested for safety, while others have coatings that are liable to be dissolved in the body. New York residents should know that these defective products can cause serious complications.

There is the possibility that the mesh will perforate the organ and cause an infection like peritonitis, for example, or migrate to another part of the body. Bowel adhesions, which are scar-like tissues that may make the mesh stick to the bowel. They can cause severe chronic pain and even lead to bowel obstruction.

The fatal 4 in construction can take lives: Learn more

There are many construction hazards that people face, but there are four that are more serious and common than others. These are called the "fatal four."

The fatal four hazards include falls, being caught in or between, getting electrocuted and being struck by objects. The good news is that it is possible to make a work environment safer and to avoid these serious accidents.

Recognize nursing home injuries quickly to prevent further harm

No one wants to think about their loved one suffering a nursing home injury as a result of a staff member's negligence or intentional actions. Sadly, many people are harmed in nursing homes in New York and throughout the country. One of the most common causes is simply neglect and mistakes, which are things that you can identify if you are present in the home often enough.

For example, if you know your loved one's medicine schedule and notice that no one has come to deliver a nightly medication long after it was due, you can reach out and ask what's going on. If you find that your loved one is pressing a call button but no one responds, you're there to go find someone and complain.

Tesla's Autopilot feature fails to impress testers

Many New York car buyers may be interested in the advanced autonomous technology offered by Tesla. However, a recent series of tests conducted by Consumer Reports magazine suggest that the company's Autopilot feature may not be as safe as its marketing materials claim. After putting cars equipped with Autopilot through their paces, Consumer Reports concluded that using the system was more stressful than driving.

The Consumer Reports researchers compared using Autopilot to watching a child trying to drive a car. The autonomous system is designed to change lanes, speed up and slow down automatically. However, rigorous testing reveals that it often performs these tasks in unexpected and dangerous ways. Testers discovered that the system reacts poorly when vehicles approach from the rear. They also noticed that its automatic braking feature often engages vigorously, without warning and for no apparent reason.

Safe driving initiative targets speeding

Despite the attention focused on distracted driving and other smartphone-linked dangerous behaviors, one of the most consistent threats to roadway safety in New York and around the country is speeding. As a result, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is focusing on that during its upcoming Operation Safe Driver Week. During the week, police will be looking for commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars violating safety rules, particularly speeders. In fact, speeding is linked to 94% of all traffic accidents, even when other causes were also involved in the incident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition, speeding is linked to over 25% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents, a figure that has held firm for over 20 years. In 2017, 9,717 people lost their lives due to excessive speed. Spokespeople for the safety week said that this is an unacceptable risk that is completely preventable. They urged the importance of public education about the dangers of speeding as well as increased law enforcement targeting speeders. The safety week will not restrict itself to speeding, however, as police will also look for distracted driving, texting, improper lane changing, aggressive driving, and failing to use seat belts.

Risk of deadly car crashes increases in light rain

A study from the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society shows that wet road conditions, including from rain, sleet and snow, increase the risk of deadly crashes by an average of 34%. Even very light rain, which most people would describe as a drizzle, can increase the chances of fatal crashes significantly. Data analysts looked at more than 120,000 accidents from 48 states, including New York, to come up with these statistics.

This study is the first of its kind to use real, precise weather data from the cite of the accident to help determine conditions. The data was used to distinguish accidents where there was heavy precipitation or snow from those where there was only light rain. The high rate of fatalities with just light rain may seem counterintuitive to some; the study speculates that drivers tend to underestimate the danger of just slightly slick roads.

Elevator injuries are often due to negligence

Elevators are commonly used by the elderly and disabled in particular in order to transport between levels in a building. Elevators are generally perceived to be very safe forms of transport. They facilitate the use of wheelchairs when necessary, and they can be used by those who are unsteady on their feet or immobile.

However, unfortunately, incidents are occasionally reported as a result of using elevators, and injuries can be possible. One of the most common causes of injuries is due to an elevator's doors opening when it is misaligned with the floor of the building. This can lead to trips and falls. If you or a loved one has been injured when using an elevator in New York, you may be able to make a personal injury claim to recoup damages.

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Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C.
600 Old Country Road
Suite 241
Garden City, NY 11530

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