auto accidents

Editorial Suggests Auto Accidents Should be Just as Big of a Concern as Gun Violence

A blog post on Streets Blog indicates that New York City officials are focusing too much on gun violence, when auto accidents cause many more deaths and injuries each year. The columnist, Brad Aaron, suggests that officials should rethink their approach in keeping New Yorkers alive, focusing on preventable accidents instead.

The post was spurred by an announcement of 16 people being indicted in illegal gun trafficking. A statement from the city remarked that there had been 127 shootings in Manhattan this year thus far. Nineteen of which resulted in fatalities.

But, counters Aaron, last year 26 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in the city and more than 2,500 were injured. With a higher fatality rate, he says, the city should be focusing here to make NYC a safer place for everyone.

Through August of this year, someone died in New York City traffic about every 30 hours, on average, and an injury occurred every 14 seconds. There is no concerted effort between city prosecutors and NYPD to get those numbers down, or to ensure that victims get justice. To the contrary, few crashes are even investigated. Continue reading


Will Wi-Fi Technology Prevent Future Car Accidents?

A new pilot program in Ann Arbor Michigan is testing the technology we often use to connect to the internet in order to prevent accidents. And so far, the results look promising. But will we all one day have WiFi accident prevention capabilities in our vehicles, or is this another case of futuristic technology that won’t come to full fruition?

According to the NY Daily News, the Transportation Department is testing a system that uses WiFi to allow vehicles to communicate with one another. The cars send signals to one another, as does infrastructure like bridges and streets under construction. It’s these communications that researchers hope will one day change how we prevent accidents.

“This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “That is a winning combination for drivers across America.”

It works something like this: vehicles equipped with the technology emit and receive signals. They may warn the driver about a stalled vehicle ahead or someone coming around a blind corner. So far the vehicles used have been voluntarily supplied, and 90% of those drivers who tested the WiFi technology liked it and would like to use it on a regular basis.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety — but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world,” said head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration David Strickland.

In addition to being a helpful voice in your vehicle, the technology will also gather information about usability and the prevention of auto accidents.

While testing is in its infancy stages and there are no discussions of the technology being rolled out on a larger scale, the program could lead to some pretty cool advances in new model cars of the future.


Tips for Preventing an Auto Accident

At Omrani & Taub, we see our share of careless drivers and the safe drivers they affect. We know that many people are cautious to avoid accidents at every turn, but still find themselves a party to life-changing crashes. In an effort to reduce the number of accidents, we offer some safe driving tips.

While you cannot prevent every motor vehicle accident, because you cannot control the other driver, you can take steps to reduce your risks of an automobile accident on New York roads.

  1. Drive with traffic. If traffic is moving along at 55 mph and you insist on going 45 mph, you may be rear ended (and cursed). On the other hand, if you are passing everyone like they were standing still, you could be the one to clip another driver. While you must follow traffic laws, be aware of your surroundings and how fast other drivers are moving. Keeping time with the average cars will help reduce your chances of a speed-related accident.
  2. Be aware of blind spots. Before pulling out into traffic or passing another vehicle, don’t just check your mirrors—look over your shoulder. Your mirrors can’t catch all of your surroundings, so don’t depend on them to do all the work.
  3. Keep your car maintained. Keep good tires on your vehicle and ensure it is running in good condition. Blow outs are a frequent cause of accidents. Also, you don’t want to end up stalled on the side of a busy freeway.
  4. Drive for the conditions. If it’s rainy, slow down and turn on your headlights. If it’s icy, allow for plenty of time to get to your destination. Different weather conditions demand different driving approaches. As the condition of the road changes, so should your driving approach.
  5. Put away distractions. Many people can’t help but look when they hear a text or email alert on their phone. But that split-second glance could cause a serious accident. Resist the temptation to give into distractions. Put your phone in your glove box if needed.
  6. Watch other drivers closely. Keep an eye on the cars around you. If someone is driving recklessly—keep your distance. When you are the safe driver,  being aware of everyone else will help keep you that way.

No matter how cautious you are, you can become the victim of another driver. If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact the attorneys of Omrani & Taub today. Call 212-529-7848 (that’s 212-LAWSUIT) to discuss your legal options.



Racing Mercedes Near Radio City, Piloted by Drunk Driver, Injures Five

Pedestrians in front of Radio City Music Hall got a show they weren’t expecting this past weekend. According to the NY Daily News, they witnessed two Mercedes’ racing before one of them slammed into a hotel shuttle bus, injuring several. “It was horrific,” said one witness of the scene.

The driver of the wrecked Mercedes was apparently racing his high-end car with another similar vehicle. He ran a red light and broadsided the shuttle, which was heading east on 50th street, bound for the airport. It was about 4:40 a.m. and as the passengers were headed to catch their early morning flights, Imran Ahmed of Jersey City, was apparently still celebrating from the night before.

One passenger of the bus was partially ejected and pinned underneath the vehicle. A group of bystanders lifted it off of him so he could escape.

“His bones had to be crushed,” said one of the good Samaritans. “I’m surprised he survived that.” Continue reading


NYC in Top 20 Worst Drivers List

Allstate published their annual “Best Drivers Report” this week and New York City was nowhere to be seen. No, instead, NYC was on the other list, the worst drivers. Fortunately, we didn’t make it into the top ten, but instead were listed at number 20.

Each year, the insurance giant publishes this report, ranking cities for how often their drivers are involved in accidents. According to the report, the national average says the average driver will have an auto accident every 10 years. In NYC, the average driver is 41.1% more likely than the national average to be involved in an accident.

Topping the list was Washington D.C., where drivers are 112.1% more likely to be involved in an accident than the typical driver in the U.S. Baltimore, MD., Providence, RI., Hialeah, FL., and Glendale, CA. rounded out the top five areas with the worst drivers. Continue reading


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


Increased Penalties for Faking Auto Accidents

The state Senate passed legislation to crack down on auto insurance fraud this week, just after a fraud ring was busted for faking accidents and reaping the financial rewards through insurance companies. The legislation will create a new felony law, making it a serious crime to stage an auto accident. Conviction under the law will warrant up to 7 years in prison.

Insurance fraud is said to cost the people of New York more than $1 billion each year. And it isn’t just people staging accidents that get in on the action. According to the NY Daily News, the Department of Financial Services has “launched a crackdown” on medical professionals that also take part in the fraudulent schemes.

The Department sent letters to 135 doctors in the NYC area after their billing practices “raised red flags”. To substantiate those bills being submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement, the agency requested supporting documentation from the doctors, proving the bills were legitimate. Continue reading


Brooklyn Ring Faked Accidents, Collected Thousands

Sixteen people are facing charges after bilking the insurance industry out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their crime? Faking auto accidents to collect money for injuries. The group is facing a multitude of crimes and several years in prison for their alleged frauds.

The fraudulent activity is said to have begun in 2009, according to the Insurance Journal. It was then that the group of 16 began causing accidents or faking accidents to get paid. They would hit unsuspecting drivers or get in accidents with each other to take advantage of the No-Fault insurance coverage.

No-Fault insurance allows people involved in accidents to collect up to $50,000 for injuries. In addition, following an accident, injured parties can file lawsuits, something the suspected fraudsters did as well.

In some of the cases, the suspects rented U-Haul trucks and crashed them into livery cabs. They would have one of their codefendants hail the cab and the other crash into them as they slowed. Another scheme they used was walking into vehicles or slapping the vehicle, claiming they were hit.

The sixteen are facing charges like insurance fraud, falsifying business records, grand larceny, and misdemeanor conspiracy. In all, they made off with over $400,000. Continue reading


Glaucoma May Increase Likelihood of Car Accidents

Glaucoma“There may be a segment of the glaucoma population, but certainly not all, that has an elevated MVC (motor vehicle crash) rate because of their disease.” This according to Cynthia Owsley, PhD, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Opthamology. Dr. Owsley reporting the findings of a recently released study on the increased chance of glaucoma sufferers to be involved in an auto accident.

In addition to stating that patients with moderate to severe glaucoma are more at risk for accidents, the study also states they are more likely to incur accident-related injuries than drivers with healthy vision.

The researchers didn’t only compile research from the Department of Motor Vehicle’s crash data, but actually analyzed the on-road driving performance of patients by conducting driving exams.

Recruiting participants for the study was difficult, according to the researchers, not only because the standards were very particular—they were required to be at least 55, have visual acuity of 20/70 in at least one eye, be a licensed driver, and not have undergone any procedures that could affect their driving—but because many potential participants were concerned they could lose their license if their driving was subpar during research examinations. As such, of 86 people who were eligible, 64 of them declined to participate. Continue reading