Monthly Archives: June 2012

Federal Government Cracks Down on Distracted Driving

The feds are getting involved in what is perhaps one of the leading causes of car accidents: distracted driving. They’ve set up a website ( with numerous tools to aid in educating drivers and preventing accidents.

According to, distracted driving is defined as, “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.” They go on to provide examples of distracted driving, perhaps the most prevalent and widely discussed of which is texting.

If you spend any amount of time on the roads, you see people texting and driving. You also probably see people putting on makeup, fumbling with their music, reaching forward to use their GPS, and eating. Any of these activities can take your eyes off the road. Any one of them could lead to disaster. Continue reading


Port Authority Reports Traffic Accidents Down

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reports accidents are down on the bridges and tunnels it operates. They credit this reduction to several things, including increased signage and preventative measures as the cause of safer crossings.

According to a press release from the authority, there has been a 36 percent decrease in auto accidents agency-wide since 2000. Also, there has been a drop of 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012 when compared with the same period last year. This continues a downward trend. From 2010 to 2011, accidents on bridges and tunnels fell by 252 or 5 percent.

The Port Authority says they have implemented new measures to prevent accidents, and that these measures are working. Those preventative efforts include: highway radio messages, installation of new signs, new traffic signals, pavement and crosswalk markings, and continued enforcement.

According to Executive Director Pat Foye, “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our customers who use our crossings, airports, and marine facilities on a daily basis. We applaud out engineers who tirelessly work to make sure we properly assess and identify highly hazardous locations so we can continue to reduce risks to our travelers.” Continue reading


Outrage Over Carriage Horse, Motorcycle and SUV Accident

An accident last week has animal right’s activists calling again for the end of the NYC carriage horse industry, an industry they say isn’t safe for the animals. This particular accident involved a motorcycle, SUV, and carriage horse. Though all of the people in the accident escaped injury-free, the horse had lacerations to the face.

Activists have reportedly been pushing to end the use of horses on city streets for years. This latest accident only adds fuel to their fire.

“This is going to happen over and over again; we know that,” said Edita Birnkrant, the New York director of Friends of Animals. “I want to challenge Mayor Bloomberg right now. How can you continue to justify this?”

It isn’t clear how this particular accident happened, though photos from show a motorcycle laying on its side in the street. An SUV was also reportedly involved. No person was injured and the horse will undergo a veterinary examination before determining the extent of his injuries.

New York’s carriage horses are a staple of the city. The sounds of their hooves moving through the park are nostalgic for many people. But are they a danger to themselves and others? Continue reading


Briarwood Queens School Bus Accident Injures Seven

Five children and two adults were injured early this week when a cab struck a school bus in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens. According to, the bus was carrying special needs children between the ages of 8 and 10.

All of the children were transported to Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The matron, also aboard the bus, and the cab driver were both taken to Jamaica Hospital. Their conditions are unknown.

Witnesses say that many of the children were highly distraught, as to be expected after an accident. Many parents arrived to offer comfort before the children were transported.

The matron appeared to have suffered the greatest injuries.

It isn’t clear what caused the accident or if any charges will be filed. The police are still investigating. Continue reading


NTSB Blames Driver Fatigue for Fatal Bus Crash

In an investigation that’s lasted over a year, and one we blogged about just last month, the National Transportation Safety Board released its findings in a final hearing last week, pointing to driver fatigue and speed as the causes in a New York bus crash that ultimately killed 15 people.

The bus accident occurred in March 2011 as a bus carrying 32 people was heading towards Manhattan from a trip to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. It was before dawn when the bus hit a guardrail, rolled on its side and slid into a large sign post, shearing off the top of the bus and killing several people instantly.

In all, 15 were killed and 7 were seriously injured. Continue reading


Police Criticized for Handling of Pedestrian Accidents

Many New Yorkers take it for granted, believing that if they are ever hit by a car as they cross a busy street, the police will take their time to launch an investigation into the accident, testing the driver for alcohol, measuring skid marks on the street, and coming up with a full report. But, that isn’t always the case, and one man is now taking his story public to bring people’s attention to what he believes are the shortcomings of the handling of such pedestrian accidents.

Jacob Stevens, a New Yorker, watched as his wife was hit and killed by a driver early on a July morning last year. He doesn’t remember seeing the accident, and is grateful for that, but he remembers the sound. Stevens believes the police didn’t do enough at the time of the accident because his wife was not dead, according to the NY Times.

The police unit Stevens is angry with is actually a division of the New York Highway Patrol; it’s called the Accident Investigations Squad, or AIS. The AIS team is made up of 19 detectives and 4 supervisors who respond to the most serious of accidents. Their directive is to only respond when there is a fatality or if death is likely. Continue reading


One Survives Taxi Accident on Long Island Expressway

11- year old Gabriel Larson was the only person riding in a NYC cab that survived a rainy accident this past week. His grandmother, taking him on the vacation of a lifetime, and the cab driver were both killed when the cab was hit by a garbage truck.

According to the NY Daily News, 60-year old Suzanne Nicholson wrapped her body around her grandson seconds before impact, protecting him from the blow of the truck. Both were rushed to Elmhurst General Hospital where Nicholson was declared dead and Larson was treated for his injuries.

The catastrophic car accident allegedly happened when the taxi they were riding in “clipped” the rear end of a Porsche, sending the Porsche rolling over onto its driver’s side. The cab also flipped onto its side, right before it was hit by a garbage truck. It was this impact that killed Nicholson and the cab driver, 46-year old Mohammed Hussain. Both the driver of the Porsche and the garbage truck escaped without injuries. Continue reading


High Line Park Explosion Injures Two Construction Workers

Last Friday, two construction workers were seriously injured when a gas tank exploded underneath High Line Park in the Meatpacking District. Just a few hours later, however, it was business as usual in the area as businesses remained open and citizens filled the park.

According to the NY Daily News, the workers were part of a crew removing a 6,000 pound gas tank from a former gas station. The explosion occurred at about 10:25 a.m. on the corner of W. 14th St. and 10th Ave.

Though there’s no official word on what caused the accident, one source said the workers may have drilled into an old gasoline line. Both workers were sent to Bellevue Hospital for their injuries, but there were no updates on their conditions.

The area surrounding High Line Park is a chic shopping and arts district. Those who work and play here seemed nonchalant about the explosion. Continue reading


Judge Rules Texter Not Liable for Accident

There is no doubt that sending text messages behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. But what if you are the person on the other side of the text—the one sending messages to a driver—can you be held responsible if an accident happens?

According to Morris County Superior Court Judge David Rand, you can’t.

Last week, Judge Rand ruled that a young woman could not be held liable for the text messages she was sending her boyfriend just before he was involved in an accident that resulted in a man and wife each losing a leg to amputation. Continue reading