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Road Debris Behind 200,000 Crashes

/ Truck Accident /

Road Debris Behind 200,000 CrashesROCHESTER, N.Y. – You’ve probably seen some dangerous things scattered across the highway. Maybe you’ve encountered plastic bags or even furniture in the roadway. For obvious reasons, these hazards are dangerous and in some cases, deadly.

According to a new study conducted by the AAA Foundation, debris has been a factor in more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roadways over the last four years. Researchers said the crashes caused more than 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths since 2011.

A Rochester truck accident lawyer says drivers have to make sure they’re properly securing any load they’re hauling.

“Debris can be some of the most dangerous hazards on the roadway and drivers who fail to secure a load can face severe legal consequences in Rochester,” truck accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Not only can a driver get a ticket for an unsecured load; they can also be held liable if that debris causes an accident.”

When debris falls off a car or truck, the driver (or the driver’s employer) can be held liable for any damages that debris causes, the Rochester truck accident lawyer said. Commercial drivers are required to inspect their trucks before every trip and examine them for potential hazards.

Some falling debris can cause serious accidents like this one that occurred this summer in Minnesota when a motorcyclist crashed into an item that fell off a boat being towed by an SUV. Luckily, the motorcyclist survived but others aren’t so lucky when they hit debris.

When debris fell off a semitrailer in Northern California this summer, it caused a woman to veer off the road. Hours later, the driver was pronounced dead at the hospital. California Highway Patrol Officers then launched a massive search for the truck driver, who did not remain on scene.

According to AAA, two-thirds of all the crashes that involve highway debris are the result of objects falling off a car or truck and around 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes occurred when the driver tried swerving to avoid an object in the roadway.

Safety advocates say swerving is one of the worst things a driver can do, although it’s often reactionary. If possible, drivers should slow down and maintain control of their vehicle, even if that means striking the object in front of them.

Rochester truck accident lawyers say in most cases, the driver responsible for the debris is also responsible for your damages.

With offices across New York State, Cellino & Barnes offers free consultations to those who have been injured by highway debris. For contact information and office locations, find Cellino & Barnes on Best Lawyers.

Don’t Selfie and Drive

/ Car Accident /

Don’t Selfie and DriveBUFFALO, N.Y. – It should be common sense: don’t selfie and drive.

Despite the obvious risks involved, many drivers are getting selfie-obsessed while behind the wheel – especially in New York.

The problem is so prevalent across Western New York that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued a new warning, hoping (at least) some drivers would hear them out and put the phone down.

The new advice comes from both the DMV and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee on the heels of a new report that named New York State as one of the top ten states with a selfie problem.

The report analyzed Instagram posts with the hashtag “#DrivingSelfies” and with 1.29 posts per 100,000 residents, New Yorkers love to selfie in their cars. In contrast, drivers in Arkansas are more camera-shy, posting at a rate of 0.40 per 100,000 residents.

A Buffalo car accident lawyer says distracted driving is now a factor in the majority of car crashes and those taking selfies behind the wheel not only jeopardize their own lives; they also put the lives of others in danger.

“Smartphones are some of the most dangerous items we find in the hands of some drivers in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Texting and driving is illegal and those found guilty can face steep fines but for most, that won’t compare to the guilt, embarrassment and the costs associated with a car crash.”

New York State has laws in place that prohibit drivers from using smartphones at the wheel, but that hasn’t stopped them. According to some surveys, the majority of New York’s drivers admit to breaking this law on a regular basis. The problem is so prevalent that it isn’t the first time state officials have issued this type of warning.

Just last month, the DMV told drivers to put the phone down instead of playing the popular game, Pokemon Go.

“Smartphones can provide nearly limitless entertainment, but activities like taking selfies while driving are just irresponsible,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said in a statement. “Whether it’s answering a short text, making a quick phone call, taking a photo, or catching Pokémon, it’s never a good idea to be distracted while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and put the phone down – it can wait!”

Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes estimate about four in ten drivers regularly use apps while they’re driving, putting everyone in a risky position, including the other six drivers who put the phone away.

According to recent research, the majority of the distracted drivers on the road fall between the ages of 20 to 29

New York State laws prohibit drivers from using electronic devices while operating a car or truck. Illegal activity includes:

  • Holding an electronic device
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Writing, sending, reading, browsing, saving electronic data – this includes content e-mails, text messages and websites
  • Viewing or taking pictures
  • Playing handheld games

With several offices in Western New York, Cellino & Barnes promotes safe driving practices throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region. Their Buffalo car accident attorneys have helped thousands of clients obtain the best result possible after they were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver.

Contact Us today for a free case evaluation.

This State Has the Worst Drivers, Study says

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury /

This State Has the Worst Drivers, Study saysNEW YORK – You may have this thought when you spot a terrible driver; and all you have to do is look at the license plate.

“No wonder, they’re from that state,” you might think.

Your suppositions may now be backed-up by a new study… but you could be wrong, too. In fact, your state could boast the worst drivers.

According to the research compiled by the financial and investment firm SmartAsset, the worst drivers in the nation most often hail from the southeast. Specifically, Florida.

Four of the top 10 states the study identified are located in the southeast but Florida wears the crown for the state with the worst drivers, researchers said. According to their research, Floridians Google the terms “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets” more than any other state.

Florida also has one of the lowest rates of insured drivers in the nation. A New York car accident attorney said that fact should concern anyone planning their next spring break in the Sunshine State.

“There are thousands of people that are driving right now without motor vehicle insurance and it’s illegal – both in Florida and in New York,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “If you’re ever injured by an uninsured driver, it can create a difficult situation for you and your family and you should contact a skilled attorney to go over your options.”

Only three states do not require car insurance: New Hampshire, Virginia and Mississippi, the last of which also made it into SmartAsset’s Top 10 States with the Worst Drivers. Ranked just behind Florida, Mississippi has a high rate of fatal car crashes. Despite its smaller population, Mississippi had more motor vehicle deaths than 45 other states – and only 77 percent of drivers have insurance.

However, you don’t need to take a vacation to the southern U.S. to find bad drivers. Just take the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey. With the second-highest rate of deadly car crashes, New Jersey ranked fourth on SmartAsset’s list. Only Oklahoma, Mississippi and Florida boasted worse driving records.

The Garden State also happens to boast some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Coincidence? Florida also has pricey insurance rates.

Unlike the southern states, safety advocates said New Jersey’s problem is most often associated with traffic congestion, which leads to aggression and distraction.

Although there are plenty of reasons to be concerned on the New Jersey turnpike, the state did score high in one category: the percentage of drivers with car insurance.

If you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver, you may be able to receive compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. The New York car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many people obtain the best result possible.

Parents: The Best Traffic Enforcement

/ Car Accident /

Parents: The Best Traffic EnforcementGARDEN CITY, N.Y. – You know they’re out there looking for speeders, tailgaters and drunk drivers. Our local officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our roads safe from bad drivers but parents still have the most power.

According to a new report conducted by traffic analysts at Queensland University of Technology, young drivers were more likely to follow traffic laws after receiving feedback and encouragement from parents, as opposed to police officers.

A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said supportive parents and driving teachers can make often influence a teen’s driving behaviors.

“Teens remain the most at-risk age group for car crashes in Long Island,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “That’s why it’s important to educate teens about safe driving skills and the best practices for any scenario they may encounter while behind the wheel.”

The University study discovered that when parents set rules and guidelines for young drivers, teens rarely violated their parents’ directives. According to the study’s surveys, teens did not want to disappoint their family.

The findings further support the significance of parenting when it comes to safety awareness. Long Island car accident lawyers noted that when parents set rules for their children, teen drivers usually follow them.

“Teens are often viewed as ‘rebellious’ but that’s not always the case and either way, it is critical to set rules for young drivers to keep them safe while they continue to polish their driving skills,” Barnes said. “Car crashes injure thousands of teens every year and almost all of them could be prevented with practice, guidance and support.”

Researchers plan to conduct a second stage of the project that aims to identify the most effective strategies parents can use to improve their child’s safety when a teen gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.

It is estimated that distractions are a factor in three-quarters of all crashes involving a teen driver. Cellino & Barnes urges everyone to follow the rules of the road and pay attention when driving.

Rio: Destination for Athletes and Disease

/ Personal Injury /

Rio: Destination for Athletes and DiseaseNEW YORK – Remember the 2010 Winter Olympics? The biggest fear then was arriving in Vancouver during a burst of swine flu cases. Research teams rushed to the British Columbia city to study the outbreak. It was a unique opportunity for doctors with the goal of finding better treatments… but the swine flu stayed dormant.

Over the next few weeks, doctors will have a second opportunity to study illnesses as Olympians face a new pandemic: Zika.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to hundreds of birth defects and paralysis.

A New York personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said travelers should be aware of Zika’s heavy presence in South America as the 2016 Summer Games begin.

“Whether it’s an airborne illness, foodborne illness or it’s transmitted by mosquitoes, a sickness or disease can quickly turn the vacation of a lifetime into a nightmare,” New York personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said.

More than 200 physicians and researchers signed a letter demanding that the Olympic Games be postponed or moved from Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over the spread of Zika virus.

Despite those concerns and a high number of cases in Brazil, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently wrote there is little risk of causing new outbreaks at this year’s Olympic Games. New York personal injury lawyers however urge travelers to use caution.

“Anytime there’s a large gathering of people from around the globe, there’s an increased risk of contracting a serious illness,” Cellino said. “Zika is particularly dangerous because doctors have yet to develop a treatment or vaccine that could minimize or eliminate the virus’ effects.”

Many health officials still predict that some athletes and spectators will contract the Zika virus. Health and safety advocates point out that the CDC’s report simply assessed the risk of spreading the outbreak to countries or areas that are not currently at risk for Zika.

The CDC currently has travel advisories for more than 50 nations. The agency said Zika is already circulating around the globe and many of the athletes and spectators that will be in Rio this week arrived from countries that are already affected by Zika, so the risk of spreading the disease further is minimal.

Even the United States is not immune to the Zika’s global reach. At least 15 people are believed to have acquired the virus from local mosquito populations near Miami.

Brazilian authorities have also been proactive by stomping-out any mosquito breeding grounds and fumigating the Olympic venues where mosquito populations tend to thrive. While most people are attending the Olympics in support of their home nations, doctors and scientists are attending for humanitarian reasons; and it’s not just Zika they’re watching.

The World Health Organization will be watching for other viruses, including dengue and yellow fever, food poisoning and the flu, which can have radically different strains circulating in the southern hemisphere.

For more safety and travel information, Like Cellino & Barnes on Facebook.

Study: Falls are More Dangerous than Car Crashes

/ Slip and Fall /

Study: Falls are More Dangerous than Car CrashesROCHESTER, N.Y. – If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve fallen at least a few times in your life. Usually you can simply pick yourself up and continue your day but sometimes a fall can cause catastrophic injuries; and as one recent study found, falls can be deadlier than car crashes.

According to an annual report in the Australian state of Victoria, more than 450 people over the age of 64 died after falling from heights of less than three feet in just the past year. In comparison, just over 300 people were killed in car accidents during the study’s time frame.

A Rochester slip and fall lawyer says the statistics mirror the data assembled in the United States.

“Falls are surprisingly common but we rarely hear about them because some victims believe their fall was ‘embarrassing’ even though it’s often not their fault in Rochester,” slip and fall attorney Ross Cellino said. “Almost all of our clients’ injuries were preventable.”

An estimated 2.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms for falls every year. Most often, they suffer head injuries or a hip fracture but falls can also result in wrist injuries, spinal cord injuries and ankle sprains.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said falls, above car crashes, are the most common cause behind concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. It is estimated that falls cost Americans over $34 billion in direct medical costs each year.

The Australian trauma report, released in July, noted a significant rise in serious injuries and fatalities among older men, falling from ladders and falls contributed to a significant number of work-related deaths and injuries.

“Construction workers, for example, are at a high risk for fall-related injuries,” Cellino said. “Thousands of workers are hurt on the job every year after falling down stairs or falling from a height and many times, our investigation finds that companies aren’t implementing sound safety plans to prevent these injuries.”

It’s estimated that around 40 percent of fatal construction accidents occur as a result of a slip or fall. The newest information found that home builders and painters face the greatest risk of falling.

Cellino & Barnes is a proud supporter of the Rochester, Central New York and Western New York communities. Our lawyers are honored to help their neighbors obtain justice and recover from a variety of personal injuries.

If you’ve been injured, a Rochester slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes could help you obtain the best result possible.

Trampoline Park Injuries: What You Need to Know

/ Personal Injury /

Trampoline Park InjuriesBUFFALO, N.Y. – Trampoline parks are hopping with children and parents love them: they believe bounce parks are a safe way to get the kids out of the house to blow off some energy. But indoor trampolines can often be extremely dangerous for children.

According to a new study in Pediatrics, more kids are being rushed to emergency rooms after an accident at a bounce park. Using data from a government injury surveillance system, researchers found that injuries jumped from about 600 incidents in 2010 to almost 7,000 in 2014.

A Buffalo personal injury lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says hundreds of parks have been built since 2010, coinciding with the spike in accidents.

“In just four years, the number of trampoline parks has increased seven-fold and several have been constructed here in Buffalo,” personal injury lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Sprains are some of the most common injuries but sometimes the accident is serious and the park could be held financially liable.”

Doctors and lawyers say some of the most serious injuries they’ve encountered were head injuries or spinal cord trauma. According to the study author, some accidents have resulted in permanent paralysis and surgery.

Although bounce parks have been found responsible for dozens of injuries around the country, the majority of trampoline-related accidents happened at home; but researchers noted that those accidents did not significantly increase over the four-year span of the study.

Trampolines in general are relatively dangerous for children, researchers said. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics has publicly denounced trampoline use for all children. However, if children do start bouncing on a trampoline, the academy advises parents to supervise and its doctors have urged kids not to do flips or have more than one jumper on a single trampoline.

For more safety tips and articles about safe activities for children and adults, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.

Seniors in Excellent Health: Their Secret

/ Nursing Home /

Seniors in Excellent Health: Their SecretNEW YORK – Health is a chief concern for many people over the age of 65 but those who describe their health as ‘excellent’ or ‘great’ often have one thing in common: they live alone.

According to a report recently published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, elderly individuals living with others – whether they’re related or not – were unlikely to consider themselves in ‘good’ health. Researchers concluded the two often go hand-in-hand.

A New York nursing home abuse lawyer with Cellino & Barnes says when seniors suffer health issues or their mobility begins to decline, they can often end up living with family members or in nursing homes where there’s an increased risk of abuse.

“There are many good nursing homes around the state but there are also facilities with a long history of neglect in New York,” nursing home abuse attorney Steve Barnes said. “For many seniors, living alone is not an option but they deserve to know what assisted-living centers will put health and safety first.”

Cellino & Barnes created the ParentCare app, where users can easily compile a list of nursing homes in their area. The app also provides comprehensive ratings and grades for each long-term facility so users can compare and contrast nursing homes to find the right one for their loved ones.

Although seniors value their independence, living alone can be risky. In fact, while seniors reported healthier lifestyles when they’re living alone, researchers said solitary situations do have drawbacks.

Those who shared a home with a spouse or partner were not likely to report any concerns with their psychological or mental health. The finding mirrored previous studies on the same subject.

The study’s lead author said the research indicates that families may be faced with the choice to help seniors with their physical health or psychological wellbeing depending on their loved one’s living situation.

“With this recent study and news of nursing home abuse across the nation, choosing the right long-term care situation is an important task for every senior,” Barnes said. “A nursing home could add valuable years to a person’s life or it could be a nightmare; although it would be nice if all nursing homes provided the same level of care the truth is, they don’t.”

The New York nursing home abuse lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have represented victims of nursing home neglect for over 50 years. They’ve helped many families get justice; and with the ParentCare app, Cellino & Barnes hopes seniors will find the long-term care facility that best fits their needs.

The app can be downloaded on the iTunes Store or at the Google Play Store.

If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact our New York nursing home abuse attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

Study: Big Brother is Saving Lives

/ Car Accident /

Study: Big Brother is Saving LivesNEW YORK – They’re hated by many and some cities have already done away with them: red-light cameras. With a quick flash, drivers can get charged a hefty fine for running past one of them but a new study found that removing the cameras from New York intersections could have deadly consequences.

The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, compared motor vehicle accidents at intersections in different cities, some with red-light cams and others that tossed them away. Researchers found that crashes go up nearly 33 percent after cities shut the cameras off.

A Bronx car accident lawyer says crashes at intersections are some of the common – and some of the most dangerous types of collisions, and red-light cameras have the potential to save lives.

“No one likes getting fined but if a driver knows there’s a camera at an intersection, they might think twice before running a red-light in the Bronx,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Even if red-light cameras prevent just a handful of crashes, it could save families from a lot of stress and grief.”

Dozens of communities have recently shut-down their red-light camera programs after complaints and allegations that the system is designed to make money rather than improve safety. While it is true that government agencies have benefited from the additional revenue, the IIHS study isn’t the first to show a correlation between the cameras and safety.

According to federal records, red-light-runners caused over 700 deadly car crashes in 2014 and injured more than 125,000 others, most of whom were occupants of other vehicles, passengers or pedestrians.

“We work with many families who are dealing with injuries and a lot of grief after a crash at an intersection,” Barnes said. “Not all of them drive a car; they can be bicyclists, runners, passengers, or children.”

The IIHS study also found an uptick in crashes at intersections that never had red-light cameras. Researchers found that collisions at all traffic signals went up 16 percent on average in cities that removed the camera program.

The finding suggests that red-light cams deter inattentiveness and overall bad driving.

Bronx car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say distracted driving is now a factor in four out of five crashes and if a camera can prevent just one accident, it could save an entire family from the stress and heartache that are attached with severe car crashes.

If you or loved one have been injured by a red-light-runner, the Bronx car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have a proven track record of getting their clients the best results possible.

Cellino & Barnes has offices across the metro-area and attorneys are available 24/7 by calling 800-888-8888. Give them a call or Contact Us today for a free consultation.

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