Multiple Pedestrians Injured in East Village Accident Demonstrates Merit of Propsed Legislation Regarding Disclosure of Underinsurance Coverage

Just two days after eight people in New York City’s East Village on Wednesday (June 19, 2013) morning were injured when a motor vehicle allegedly being driven by a drunk driver mounted a sidewalk and struck them, the New York State Senate failed to pass a bill that would have required disclosure to purchaser’s of insurance of the availability of coverage that could have provided additional insurance to the victims. Called Supplementary Uninsured Motorist’s (“SUM”) coverage, this coverage can potentially provide compensation where the wrongdoer either has no insurance or has less insurance than the victim. In the recent motor … Read the rest

Study of Factors Predictive Of Outcome of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accident Victims Shows Danger Lurks Even in Supposedly Safe Places

In 2012 in New York City, there were 274 traffic deaths, the most in four years. In 2010, 11,000 pedestrians and 3,500 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. Road safety constitutes an international crisis, so states a study by doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center of pedestrians and bicyclists struck by motor vehicles in New York City’s central business district and surrounding area between December 2008 and June 2011. The intent of the study was to identify the demographic and behavioral factors predicting the outcome of patients, including considering the Injury Severity Score (ISS).

Sidewalk … Read the rest

It’s Dangerous to Cross a Street While Texting Even If You Can Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time

Is one of your pet peeves people who walk while on their cell phone and, in their oblivious state, either bump into you or at least cause you to change your path? Mine is (when I’m not the one texting). As annoying as that is, people who text while crossing the street are not just a nuisance; they are putting themselves at risk for injury or death. Vehicle-pedestrian accidents injure 60,000 and kill 4,000 people every year in this country.

Researchers watching 1,102 Seattle pedestrians at 20 high-risk intersections during randomly assigned times found that nearly one in three people … Read the rest

Safety Improvements to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents on Hempstead Turnpike to Begin This Week

Hempstead Turnpike bears the unwanted distinction of being Long Island’s most dangerous road. In May of this year the New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”) announced a series of pedestrian safety improvements along the 16-mile Hempstead Turnpike. This week begins the implementation of the improvements based upon NYSDOT’s engineering analysis that examined crash data, traffic signal functioning, pedestrian markings, lighting conditions, vehicle speeds, bus stops and pedestrian behavior. NYSDOT reviewed every motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2011. There were 326 pedestrian crashes identified, including 20 fatalities.

Some pedestrian safety improvements concerning … Read the rest

Hempstead Turnpike Most Deadly Road on Long Island for Pedestrians

A study by Newsday of pedestrian accidents reports from 2005 through 2010 published in today’s paper finds that pedestrians are killed an average of more than five times a year on Hempstead Turnpike’s 16 miles through Nassau County, making it Long Island’s most dangerous road. Thirty-two people were killed and at least 427 injured in 457 pedestrian accidents. Three more people have died since last July.

Even crossing at intersections is not safe. More than half of the incidents examined occurred at intersections. Pedestrians were struck far more often by drivers turning left than turning right. Seventy percent of the … Read the rest

Unlawful Taxi Hailings and Other Violations You May Not Know About (or At Least Know Where to Find)

A recent article in The New York Times brought to light a little-known New York City Regulation that prohibits a person from hailing or procuring a taxi for another not in his or her social company. The article relayed the tale of Juan Bannister who, after flagging down a taxi, placing the stranger’s luggage in the trunk, and receiving a $1.50 tip, was promptly arrested at the scene and charged with the unlawful hailing of a taxicab. Mr. Bannister pleaded guilty to the charges against him and received a sentence of seven days in jail, including time served.

I looked … Read the rest

Sun Glare Held Not To Create an Emergency for Driver Who Struck and Killed Pedestrian

New York’s Court of Appeals has held that a driver who, while making a left turn, struck and killed a pedestrian whom he did not see until only a fraction of a second before hitting her because of sun glare, was not entitled to have the jury instructed on the emergency doctrine. Lifson v. City of Syracuse and Derek Klink, 2011 WL 4834512, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 07145 (Decided October 13, 2011). The common-law emergency doctrine recognizes that when an actor is faced with a sudden and unexpected circumstance which leaves little or no time for thought, deliberation or … Read the rest

Open and Obvious Defense Clarified in a Case of Optical Confusion

If I had a dollar for every time a defendant argued in a summary judgment motion that it was not negligent because the condition that caused my client’s accident was open and obvious. With words that every defense counsel (and Judge) should never overlook, the Appellate Division, First Department opened a recent opinion with the sentence: In this personal injury action, we reiterate the well-established principle that a finding of open and obvious as to a hazardous condition is never fatal to a plaintiff’s negligence claim. It is relevant only to plaintiffs comparative fault. Saretsky v. 85 Kenmare Realty CorpRead the rest

NYC Makes No Bones About It: Obey The 30 MPH Speed Limit or You’ll See a Skeleton

Throughout New York City and other places, drivers are becoming accustomed to seeing radar-equipped speed boards that tell them how fast they’re going, and flash when their speed exceeds the speed limit. This past week Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that some of the speed boards will now also show the words SLOW DOWN and the image of a healthy pedestrian turns into a skeleton on electronic signs when drivers exceed the city speed limit. As long as a driver obeys the city’s 30 mph speed limit, no skeleton will appear. The signs … Read the rest

Nassau County’s Hempstead Turnpike Retains Distinction A Being Most Dangerous Road for Pedestrians in NYC Region

This year’s report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign concerning pedestrian safety in the New York City region finds that an average of 415 pedestrians are killed in New Jersey, downstate New York, and Connecticut each year.

The report, Most Dangerous Roads for Walking, uses three years of federal data to pinpoint the exact location of each pedestrian death in downstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The chart below compares some of this year’s figures with last’s.

The most dangerous places for people to walk are roadways known as arterials – wide, high-speed roads designed to move as many cars … Read the rest

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