Garden City Personal Injury Blog

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.

Volvo aims to stop drunk and inattentive driving

Distracted and impaired driving are serious problems in New York and throughout the country. Volvo has a plan to reduce to ensure that drivers are sober and attentive while operating their vehicles. The manufacturer will put sensors and cameras in its vehicles starting early in the 2020s. They are designed to detect actions that may indicate that a car is being driven in an unsafe manner.

For instance, the car may slow down or stop if there is no input on the steering wheel. The same may be true if there is excessive swerving or if the system detects that a driver's eyes are closed. A slow reaction time could also result in the car pulling off of the road or otherwise finding a safe place to park. The new technology is part of Volvo's efforts to prevent accidents from occurring.

School bus stop safety tips for parents and students

As a parent, it's important to discuss school bus stop safety with your children. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it can also help prevent a serious accident that leads to injury or even death.

Here are five of the most important school bus stop safety tips:

  • Keep a safe distance: When possible, stand on a sidewalk at least six feet away from the bus. This gives the driver plenty of space to ease up to the bus stop, without any concerns of a child getting in the way.
  • Visibility is a must: Teach your children how to remain visible at all times. For example, if they're crossing the street in front of a bus, make sure they leave at least 10 feet of space. This makes it easier for the bus driver to spot your child, thus staying where they are until it's safe to drive.
  • Take instructions from the bus driver: The bus driver will slowly approach the stop, put out their stop sign and then open the door. Once the driver says it's okay, your child can move toward the bus.
  • Never walk behind a bus: It sounds safer than walking in front of a bus, but it's very difficult for a driver to see a child in this area. This goes along with maintaining a high level of visibility at all times.
  • Use handrails: Bus steps are known for being steep, thus making it difficult for children to safely go up and down. Talk about the importance of using handrails and closely watching each step. Also, be careful that your children aren't wearing any clothing or a backpack that could get caught in the door or handrail.

Americans Struggle with Distracted Driving Habits

In Garden City and across the United States, approximately 80 percent of drivers talk on their cell phones while driving. Three out of every 10 drivers admit that they barely escaped from getting involved in car crashes because of their distracted driving activities. The Travelers Companies, Inc., an insurance company, recently published the new 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The index included about 2,000 drivers who were questioned about distracted driving.

The results show that 44 percent of drivers type texts, read emails and send emails while driving. About 23 percent use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Another 22 percent of the participants record videos or take pictures. Plus, 15 percent visit online vendors while driving. Nearly half of the drivers involved in the study admitted that they would find it difficult to stop engaging in distracted driving activities while driving their vehicles.

Boiler dangers: Defective boilers can lead to scalding burns

When you want to use hot water in your home, the goal is to make it hot enough to kill bacteria and to feel hot to the touch, but you don't want it so hot that it burns you. When the temperature gauges are not working correctly, it's possible that the water could become so hot that it causes burns.

There are two types of safety controls on a boiler. The first is the safety relief valve, which protects people from high temperatures and high pressures. The next is the low-water cutoff, which turns off the boiler if there isn't enough water. If a landlord neglects to maintain or fix faulty boiler controls, tenants can get seriously injured. 

Automakers turn to virtual pedestrians to test driverless cars

In March 2018, an Uber autonomous vehicle failed to detect a woman as she crossed a shadowy area of an Arizona street and struck her. She died, and the self-driving industry took a major hit. As a result of the accident, automakers have taken a fresh look at the way they test autonomous cars in New York and around the world.

The Arizona accident caused regulators to severely restrict automakers' access to public roads for testing. This has forced engineers to take a different approach to vehicle evaluations. For example, a Swedish company called AstaZero uses a private track to test self-driving vehicles with "virtual humans." These computerized pedestrians dart out of blind spots and engage in other challenging behaviors to measure an autonomous vehicle's ability to spot them and take the appropriate evasive actions. Swedish automaker Volvo is one of the company's clients as well as Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Scania.

Pedestrian death rate highest in 28 years

According to data gathered by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were an estimated 6,227 pedestrian deaths in 2018. That was the highest number since 1990, and it represents a 35 percent increase from 2008. There were a number of reasons why New York pedestrians were being killed at higher rates, and they include distracted driving and walking as well as drug and alcohol use.

Individuals were distracted in part by using smartphones while walking to work. SUVs were more likely to kill or injure pedestrians because they hit victims in the torso and head. This type of vehicle was deemed more likely to injure or kill even when a collision took place at relatively low speeds. From 2013 to 2017, the number of deaths caused by an SUV rose 50 percent.

Making a claim after your child is injured at school

When you send your child to school, you do so will the expectation that they will be kept safe from harm. All teachers and school workers should be trained on safety, and children should be monitored at all times. If your child became injured while at school, in addition to being upset you may also be wondering whether the school itself is to blame.

It can be possible to hold a school legally liable for the injuries that your child suffered, especially when you had to pay costly medical bills as a result. Your ability to make a legal claim against the school does not necessarily relate to the seriousness of the injury, but to the expense of the medical bills.

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

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