NEW YORK – It’s an unfortunate fact about driving: car accidents happen. Studies show motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death around the world and these dangerous accidents occur roughly once every minute.
Crashes become even more dangerous when it involves a tractor-trailer or other large truck. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,000 people are killed every year in crashes involving big rigs. Hundreds of thousands more are injured.
“These trucks are often referred to as the lifeblood of the economy. Statistically, they’re also some of the deadliest moving objects in the world,” truck accident lawyer Ross Cellino said.
In the United States alone, more than 300,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes last year. Roughly 3,500 people died as a result of those crashes.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97 percent of those killed in truck-car collisions were occupants in the smaller car.
Statistics also show truck accidents coincide with economic booms and busts.
“In periods of economic growth, there are more trucks on the road and we see a huge spike in crashes,” Cellino said. “Industries are still feeling the effects of the recession so there aren’t as many trucks on the road right now but that trend is beginning to change.”
Fatal crashes involving large trucks are on the uptick; increasing between 2 and 4 percent each year since 2011.
Tractor trailers often need twice the space for stopping room and blind spots are increased considerably around the truck’s side and rear. Accident attorneys tell drivers to have a heightened awareness while operating around large trucks.
NEW YORK – Several auto accidents involving school buses have sent nearly two dozen people to the hospital this week alone. In many cases, children were injured and one teenager was killed.
On Monday, two school bus drivers were charged for following too closely when a chain-reaction crash injured eight people in Chester, Va. According to ABC affiliate WRIC, seven students and one adult driver were taken to area hospitals.
More than 15 students were injured in other, separate accidents across the country. In Connecticut, nine children were hospitalized following an afternoon bus crash in Hartford. The city’s NBC affiliate reported the bus, carrying 18 students, collided with another car at an intersection. Police said it was unclear who was at fault.
In Maryland, a 17-year-old girl was killed after her sport utility vehicle crashed head-on with a school bus Wednesday morning. According to a Baltimore news station, the bus driver and one student on board were taken to a hospital for treatment.
Another person died in a multivehicle crash near Pittsburgh, Penn. Wednesday morning. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a bus carrying 26 students was involved in the wreck. School officials said four students received “bumps and bruises” in the crash.
In total, dozens of children were hospitalized after bus crashes in a three day period.
NEW YORK – The evening commute turned into a deadly danger-zone Monday evening when 40 vehicles crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, 50 miles southwest of New York City.
New Jersey State Police said icy conditions are believed to be a factor in the crashes. According to a state police spokesman, a pair of trucks lost control and blocked the highway, sparking the chain-reaction.
Around 70 people were injured and one person died as a result of the rapid-fire collisions on a slippery highway.
“Icy roadways are some of the most dangerous conditions, especially on a highway and all it takes is one vehicle to lose traction in New York,” car accident lawyer, Ross Cellino said.
According to ABC 7 New York, state police said there were a total of 21 vehicles involved in multiple accidents on the inner roadway, reserved for cars only, and 19 trucks and cars collided on the outer roadway.
NEW YORK – Drivers have had enough of the snow and ice for one season but the Empire State continues to get slammed by winter storms and the costs are adding up.
State and local agencies are already on pace to spend more than $2 billion battling snow and ice on the roads. Delays are costing trucking companies anywhere between $2 billion and $4 billion and insurance companies are estimated to fork out nearly $1 billion in losses due to winter weather.
“Battling winter weather isn’t just expensive for local governments; crash victims are rushed to emergency rooms with life-changing injuries and sometimes, unfortunately, the weather can cost a life in places like Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said.
“I’m alright, I got a little scratch on my finger but that’s it,” Ian Wagner said in the video.
In Buffalo, more crashes caused delays on highways and surface streets. One man, driving on I-290, took photos of a jackknifed tractor trailer that blocked several lanes of traffic and an SUV that rolled over into the median.
“It’s a war zone in this weather,” Cellino said. “You can be the safest driver in the world but when the snow hits the pavement, it’s suddenly a different world.”
Buffalo car accident lawyers suggest staying off the roads, if possible. If travel can’t be avoided, drivers are urged to drive slowly and carefully, leaving enough time to make it to their destination safely.
Although roads and highway crews keep plowing, roads can be slick due to blowing snow. The heavy winds also made visibility a problem for drivers.
“One of the common responses you hear after a crash is ‘I didn’t see the other car.’ Blowing snow is a real problem for drivers but it’s not an excuse, they still need to be responsible and adjust to the conditions in Rochester,” car accident lawyer, Steve Barnes said.
Forecasters expect more flurries throughout the weekend, adding to the adverse driving conditions. A Rochester attorney says city and highway driving will be particularly dangerous.
“One moment it can be clear with a light breeze, we’ve all seen it before,” Barnes said. “The next moment, the driver encounters near white-out conditions and there’s just not a lot of time to adjust.”
Rochester car accident attorneys say weather can be a dominating factor in many crashes but a driver is usually still held liable for his or her actions. He says it’s extremely important to adjust the speed and distance between cars when driving in winter’s hazards.
NEW YORK – Nearly a million people are sent to the hospital every year after suffering injuries stemming from a dog bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the number of people to have been bit by a dog to be much more, nearly 5-million people.
Although the percentage of severe dog bites has decreased over the past decade, injuries are becoming more and more costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid out in 2013 and cost more than $483 million.
“Dog bites can be physically painful and on top of the physical and emotional pain, they can sometimes be disfiguring and expensive, especially in New York,” dog bite lawyer Ross Cellino said.
The III estimates the average claim cost in New York at over $50,000.
Recently, a celebrity “dog whisperer” was sued after a woman suffered disfiguring injuries from a pit bull just days after the dog was released from the celebrity’s “Dog Psychology Center.”
New York dog bite lawyers say children and adult men are most at risk of suffering a vicious dog bite and offer preventative safety tips:
-Do not approach an unfamiliar dog
-Do not run from a dog or scream
-Don’t allow children to play with a dog unless under adult supervision
-Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first
While these tips are best practices around any type of dog, bites cannot always be prevented and a dog bite victim may rely on legal assistance to fully recover, physically, emotionally and financially.
NEW YORK – Hundreds of people are killed in train collisions every year. On Monday, seven more died in a fiery crash in Valhalla when a Metro North train carrying over 400 passengers struck a car stranded on the tracks, authorities said.
The crash is just the latest disaster to happen on Metro North tracks. According to Federal Railroad Administration records, a truck was slammed by a train at the exact same rail crossing in 1984. The 21-year-old driver was killed.
“Every three hours in the U.S., a vehicle or a person is hit by a train,” Operation Lifesaver president, Joyce Rose said. “[Tuesday’s crash] highlights the critical need for all drivers to use caution at every highway-rail grade crossing.”
Although the accidents have decreased in the last three decades, trains are still responsible for more than 200 deaths and nearly a thousand injuries every year.
NEW YORK – A Metro North train carrying hundreds of passengers struck a car just north of the train station, according to first responders. The crash resulted in seven deaths and more than a dozen injuries.
Images from MSNBC showed the aftermath of the crash, including a fiery explosion that engulfed the train and the car in Valhalla, N.Y.
More than a dozen investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies will determine what caused the crash.
The gates came down on top of the vehicle, which was stopped on the tracks,” Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement. “The driver got out to look at the rear of the car, then she got back in and drove forward and was struck.”
At the scene late Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the scene a “truly ugly and brutal sight.” Cuomo said the maximum speed for the train in the area of the crash was 60 miles per hour but authorities have not officially determined how fast the train was moving.
According to authorities on scene, at least 15 people were hospitalized for mild to severe injuries.
NEW YORK – A slushy and snowy commute troubled drivers across northeastern roadways. In some places, the winter weather caused dangerous and deadly car accidents or slippery situations on the sidewalks.
Monday afternoon, Interstate 95 was closed in Rye, N.Y. due to crashes that killed two people. According to New York State Police, the first car crash was minor but while the drivers were exchanging insurance information outside their vehicles, a third car lost control and struck the two drivers.
In Buffalo, a man was hit by an oncoming car while retrieving a snow blower that fell out of his truck bed, according to The Buffalo News. The News said the man was treated for a forehead cut.
Several vehicles collided on Interstate 287 in New Jersey. According to crash investigators, every driver was able to pull off the highway but authorities did close an exit ramp nearby.
Across the metro area, commuters were bogged down by delays and pedestrians battled heavy crowds and slippery sidewalks. In some areas of New York, it became even more dangerous when manhole covers blew off, seriously injuring a 71-year-old man on Monday.
“Roadways and sidewalks always have their risks but the dangers increase tenfold when there’s snow and ice. That’s why there are laws requiring homeowners and businesses to clear those areas of debris in New York,” car accident lawyer, Steve Barnes said.
Many public schools remained open in the city but elsewhere across the state and in New Jersey, school officials made the decision to delay or close as the winter weather advisory was extended.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The morning commute was compounded Monday when a massive winter storm moved east, hitting New York State overnight; causing slick and sloppy road conditions.
In many places, the storm was worse than expected and some school districts were caught off guard. Several schools in Western New York remained open despite having six inches to a foot of snow and blowing wind. Buffalo Public Schools’ Transportation Director, Al Diamico told WKBW-TV the morning commute was messier than anticipated.
“If we had a crystal ball, now that we know what’s happened, we definitely would’ve closed down,” Diamico said.
According to WKBW-TV, the decision to have classes Monday had several parents asking, “how long do our children wait for the buses outside?”
For the most part, businesses stayed open but very slow due to the snow-covered roads, which were hazardous for drivers and people outside their cars, trying to dig out.
“This street was not been plowed all night,” one Buffalo resident said. “Cars and trucks just zoom by, packing the snow down even more, I can’t shovel out because of that.”
The same storm is responsible for dozens of injuries across the country. In Ohio, a Toledo police officer died while shoveling snow in his driveway and the city’s 70-year-old mayor was hospitalized after an accident while he was out checking road conditions.
Statistics show the risk of a heart attack greatly increases during cold weather and the risk of a car accident can increase by over 20 percent.
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