When you take an evening walk or walk to the store, you likely don’t think that you’ll be the victim of a car accident, and you certainly don’t think it will be the last walk you take. But, one woman in upstate New York took her final walk last week on her way from the store.
According to the Associated Press, 35-year old Tabitha Harris was walking home from the store in Manchester when she became the victim of an unusual accident. Ms. Harris was not hit randomly by a lone car, but was the victim of a two-vehicle accident. She happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A van traveling on the road crossed the center line and struck an SUV pulling a trailer. The SUV lost control, and the trailer they were pulling hit Harris.
The van driver was ticketed for failing to keep right and the investigation is ongoing. Continue reading
Five young girls were all hospitalized following a frightening accident that happened as they played outside. According to the Nyack-Piermont Patch, the girls were playing in the driveway of their home when a van owned by Five Star Medical Supplies jumped the curb and hit all five of them. All five were transported to area hospitals.
Three of the five girls are related, two are sisters and the third is a cousin. Four of them are nine years old and one is seven. A few were seriously injured.
Christopher St. Lawrence, the Ramapo Town Supervisor, and Police Chief Peter Brower credit one paramedic with saving at least one of the girls’ life. When arriving on the scene, she did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Paramedic Jacob Goldmunzer provided care to all five girls at the scene. Workers had all of them loaded on ambulances and being transported within only 10 minutes of their arrival.
Officials are calling Goldmunzer’s actions heroic. Continue reading
An older couple had just left a jazz concert and was looking for a cab back to their Upper East Side home when they were struck by an out of control car on Park Avenue. The 80-year old man, Rubin Baum, was killed and his wife was injured.
According to the NY Daily News, a 2000 Mazda sedan hit a minivan that happened to be transporting a Pakistani diplomat. The Mazda then lost control and went into a tailspin. It hit the Baum couple, sending Denise into a parked truck and running over Rubin.
With so many pedestrians always in motion in the city, pedestrian accidents are relatively common. But, the NYC Department of Transportation says the city is safer than other large cities in the country.
They say that for 2009, the last year for which their data is available, traffic fatalities were down 35%. They also say that pedestrians account for 52% of deaths in traffic accidents between 2005 and 2009. Continue reading
A thoughtful piece in the NY Times this week examines the lack of criminal charges in pedestrian accidents. According to the article, the NYPD’s Accident Investigation Squad only investigated 2 percent of the near-3,000 serious, nonfatal crashes in the city last year. While this can be chalked up to a lack of staffing, some say it simply isn’t good enough.
The accident squad is a crew of only 20. They are only tasked with investigating fatal accidents or those where it is likely the victim will die. In other cases, usually, no investigation takes place at all. This offers little solace to accident victims who are severely injured by reckless or distracted drivers.
In this city, where many of us put miles on our feet everyday, it’s not unusual for people to be hit as they cross the busy city streets. And often, when the pedestrian is crossing with the light; the driver simply defends themselves with a simple, “I didn’t see them,” and carries on.
As pedestrians, we can follow all of the traffic safety rules, be cautious of where we walk and who we step in front of, and even wear reflective clothing at night. But if we are hit by a car, and we survive, there will likely be no criminal consequences for the driver—even if they were drunk. Continue reading
There have been numerous headlines coming from various news sources in the NYC area lately, all discussing the frequency of bike accidents, how they are handled by the cops, and bicycle safety in general. The latest addition to the growing pile of work is an article in the Gothamist which asserts New York City streets are safer for pedestrians and everyone thanks to cyclists. The article is an answer to the Gawker piece entitled “First, Kill All the Cyclists,” where the writer is overly critical of bikes in the city, saying they are a “menace,” among other things. In the Gothamist piece, however, we learn that bikes may just be an asset to the city. New Yorkers on bikes have risen dramatically in recent years, doubling in number from 2007 to 2010. During that time, bike-on-pedestrian crashes actually dropped 9 percent. Also during that period, the number of cyclist-caused crashes fell. The writer goes on to add, that bike lanes make everyone safer: Bike lanes, which are on just over 4% of New York City’s streets, also make roads safer for everyone: according to the DOT [pdf], pedestrian crashes on streets with bike lanes are 40% less deadly. Bike lanes have “a calming effect, lowering speeds and increasing driver attention.” While the Gawker piece would have you think that pedestrians are dodging bikes at every turn, the Gothamist article asserts that pedestrians should be far more concerned with cars, saying they are 365 more dangerous than cyclists, adding that 60 percent of fatal pedestrian and cyclist accidents are caused by illegal driving behavior. By being super-critical of cyclists, the Gothamist warns, Gawker is only perpetuating the ambivalence towards bicycle accidents, an already-existing problem in the city and especially among the NYPD. Instead, New Yorkers should hold their cyclists as a symbol of the city rather than a black mark, something to be proud of rather than something to criticize. After all, if you are riding a bicycle and are hit by a drunk driver or merely a distracted driver, you are far more likely to suffering life-changing, or even life-ending, injuries than if you are in another vehicle. It is in a cyclist’s best interest to be the best possible driver and to be hyper-aware of all of their surroundings. If you are involved in a bike or pedestrian accident, you want your side of the story to be taken seriously. You deserve to have an advocate on your side. Our attorneys can help. Contact the New York accident attorneys of Omrani & Taub today for a consultation on your case. We can be reached at 212-529-7848 (that’s 212-LAWSUIT).
Transportation Alternatives, an NYC transportation advocacy group, released a study this week that found three out of every five deadly pedestrian and bicycle crashes in New York City are caused by “illegal driving behavior.” They, like many others, are hoping the city will soon change how they investigate such accidents so that drivers can be held responsible for the tragedy they leave behind.
According to the Transportation Alternatives website, “Deadly Driving Unlimited: How the NYPD Lets Dangerous Drivers Run Wild” looks at how the lack of investigations and repercussions for drivers involved in these fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents only makes the problem worse.
The report analyzed data from the Department of Transportation. It found that 60 percent of fatal cyclist and pedestrian accidents with known causes were caused by illegal driving behavior betwee 1995 and 2009. These illegal driving behaviors could be anything from speeding, to running a red light, or drinking and driving.
Between 2001 and 2010, 1,7,45 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in accidents involving drivers in the city. Continue reading
Two cabs collided on Monday, sending one onto the sidewalk. It was there that the taxi struck a young woman, sending her to the hospital with head injuries.
According to DNAinfo.com, the accident occurred on the corner of Second Avenue and East 79th Street. An SUV taxi was making a left onto 79th when a Crown Vic cab, traveling down 79th collided with it.
Both cab drivers escaped without injuries.
After the immediate impact, the SUV jumped the curb, where it struck the identity. According to DNAinfo.com, her identity and condition are unknown. However, witnesses say after being hit, she was face down in a pool of blood.
“He was running the red light, so he hit the pedestrian,” said the Crown Vic driver of the SUV cabbie.
A doorman at the Continental Plaza, near the intersection, said it isn’t uncommon for vehicles to fly through that intersection, trying to catch the lights. He ran outside when he heard the impact.
In a city this crowded, it isn’t surprising when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a tragic event and one worth discussing. Continue reading
Who can we blame for the majority of accidents in the city? That question was asked of New Yorkers in a recent poll from NY1 and Marist. What they found is that opinions vary and many cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians are quick to point the finger at someone else.
The vast majority, when presented with the question, “Who causes New York City Accidents—bicyclists, pedestrians, or motorists?” said that drivers were the ones to blame. Sixty-eight percent, in fact, said that those driving cars are at fault for most accidents. Seventy percent of men attributed accidents to motorists, while the number was slightly lower (65%) for women.
Coming in a distant second was the people who thought bicyclists contributed to most accidents, with 19%/ Finally 13% of respondents attributed accidents to pedestrians.
But what does this mean? Well, for one, that NYC is crowded and everyone plays a role in avoiding accidents and two, not everyone agrees on who is to blame.
Some of those surveyed admit to their own shortcomings, things that they might do that could increase the likelihood of an accident. One pedestrian, interviewed by NY1, said that he is often oblivious to the traffic around him because he, like many others these days, is usually wearing earphones and can’t hear what’s going on around him. Continue reading
An accident on 42nd Street and 6th Avenue this past weekend sent several people to the hospital, including several pedestrians. The accident shows how dangerous it can be, even just to walk the sidewalks in New York City.
According to CBS New York, the accident was triggered when a Jaguar, traveling at a high rate of speed, crashed into the back of an Impala, stopped at a red light. Then, the Jag hit a cab before jumping the sidewalk and mowing several people down.
Witnesses said it appeared as though the taxi turned over on its side and hit a tree, causing the roof to be “shaved” off of the vehicle.
Reports are conflicting but at least three people from the vehicles are listed in critical condition, while three pedestrians are listed in serious condition. According to the NY Times, at least two people at the scene refused medical treatment.
One witness, who had been reading in the nearby Bryant Park when the accident occurred, said he ran over to the scene after hearing the crash. There he found people lying on the sidewalks “screaming for help.” Continue reading
New York City is among one of the dangerous places for pedestrians. Needless to say, many drivers on New York streets are in a rush to get where they are going. Operators of mass transit vehicles are no different. Either from a lack of attentiveness, or because of the tediousness of driving the same pattern for long stretches of time, they can end up mindlessly ignoring pedestrians who are crossing the streets in crosswalks. When this happens it is most likely that the pedestrian will suffer serious personal injuries, some of which are fatal.
Two New Yorkers were struck down by New York City buses this week within a 24-hour period. The first victim was a 22-year-old who was killed by a Q44 bus while crossing a very dangerous intersection in Flushing. This accident happened shortly after eight in the morning. Continue reading