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A Need For Speed

/ Car Accident /

A Need For SpeedNEW YORK – If you’ve ever watched the cars whiz by you in the Big Apple, you might conclude that many of them are speeding well above the speed limit.

We now have data to confirm your suspicions, and it’s estimated that 60-percent of New York’s drivers are traveling faster than the law allows.

The data, put together by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, surveyed drivers in an attempt to tap into their driving habits. The survey not only found that most of the city has a need for speed; it also found that roughly one-fifth of its motorists are texting and driving.

These aren’t minor offenses either – speeding was defined as “driving at least 10 miles above the speed limit.”

  • 64% said they sometimes sped
  • 13% said they sped “often”
  • 19% reported they were distracted; either by texting or emailing while driving

The report also found that as age increased, the prevalence of texting or emailing while driving went down, from an astounding 34-percent among drivers under 24 years-old to just 3-percent of drivers over 65.

A Manhattan car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says distractions and speed are often major factors in crashes, and many victims have taken offenders to court for their bad habits.

“Speeding and texting are two of the deadliest habits drivers have while on the streets in Manhattan,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “When our team investigates a crash, we often try to find if either of these bad habits were a factor because that evidence could help injured victims maximize their compensation.”

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET HIT BY ANOTHER DRIVER

City officials tout that these numbers are still below national averages, but the statistics are eye-opening. Another shocking statistic: more than 160,000 people are injured in car crashes every year in New York alone.

The unfortunate reality is that car crashes happen in the city every day, and there’s almost always an innocent victim.

If you or a family member has been injured, the medical costs, lost work and the pain can be overwhelming, but the Manhattan car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped New Yorkers get compensation after these devastating crashes.

When you or a loved one is injured, count on the law firm that has helped thousands of victims get the best result possible. Call the Manhattan car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

Perilous Parkways

/ Car Accident /

Perilous ParkwaysGARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Since 1927, the Southern State Parkway has been a fixture in Long Island. For the most part, it’s also remained unchanged, and according to several legislators and safety officials, that’s a big problem.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation, more than 10,000 traffic collisions happened on the Southern State Parkway over the past five years. These crashes included more than 3,000 that resulted in serious injuries and nearly three dozen fatal accidents.

A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says many of those crashes can be attributed to outdated road design and crumbling infrastructure. In some cases, even the signs can be outdated.

“The Southern State Parkways is one of the most dangerous roadways on Long Island,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “It has short entrance ramps, and the aging design of the road doesn’t always give drivers the time and distance they need to safely merge into traffic, which could be going 55 miles-per-hour, or faster.”

The roadway is notoriously dangerous. In fact, it has the attention of several lawmakers who recently introduced bills in both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. If passed, the bills would establish a study to evaluate the configuration of the Southern State Parkway, including its entrance ramps, exit ramps, signage, and whether other safety measures are needed.

The act would also help traffic safety officials obtain federal funds that could pave the way for safety improvements.

“New York State can sometimes be held partially responsible for an accident that occurs on a problematic roadway,” Barnes said. “In many cases, the Department of Transportation has known about technical flaws that present safety hazards for drivers, but it often takes a devastating accident to get these issues ironed out.”

Unfortunately, any plans for a redesigned parkway could be months, or even years away. But statistics have shown that a deadly accident occurs every other month on Southern State Parkway.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent or speeding driver on this dangerous stretch of roadway, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help. They’ve obtained more than $2 billion for their clients, and their experience could help you get the best result possible from an injury claim.

Contact one of our Long Island car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Rely on Responsibility, Not Luck This Weekend

/ Car Accident /

Rely on Responsibility, Not Luck This WeekendBUFFALO, N.Y. – More than half of Americans plan to be Irish this weekend, spending an estimated $5.3 billion St. Patrick’s Day outfits, food and drinks. But the luck o’ the Irish only goes so far.

In Western New York, it’s a must-see event as thousands of people flood Delaware Avenue for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. While most of these parade-goers are responsible with their alcohol consumption, there are some who are not.

A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says drunk driving continues to be a major problem on the holiday.

“People know the risks of driving drunk, and dozens of others pay the price every year in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “They can get pulled over and receive a DWI, or even worse: cause a car crash that takes someone else’s life.”

In 2015, nearly three dozen people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Paddy’s Day weekend, WalletHub reports. That adds up to a deadly crash every 72 minutes. Roughly three-quarters of these crashes involved a driver who consumed twice the legal limit.

During the St. Patrick’s Day week alone, New York State Police made roughly 500 alcohol-related arrests last year, according to state records. Most of those arrests occurred on the holiday itself, but since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, safety advocates fear the problem could get worse.

“Since many people don’t have to work the next day, they could be staying at the bar later into the evening, and that’s when things can get out of hand,” Barnes said. “Not only are they consuming more alcohol, they’re also losing daylight, and nighttime driving is more dangerous for everyone – even the designated driver.”

The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes urge everyone to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day responsibly. That means planning ahead and getting a designated driver, if you plan on enjoying a green beverage or two.

If the worst-case scenario happens to you or your family, trust the firm that has helped Western New Yorkers get the best result possible from a drunk driving crash. Contact the Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

Often Overlooked: School Bus Safety

/ Car Accident /

Often Overlooked: School Bus SafetyNEW YORK – Most school-aged children use the bus to get to and from their classes each day, and it’s generally thought of as one of the safest modes of transportation. But safety advocates are urging parents and drivers to rethink safety – both on and off the school bus.

According to federal statistics, most accidents happen before or after a child has stepped off the bus. A Bronx bus accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said these moments are some of the most dangerous times for children.

“Some drivers either don’t notice the flashing lights of a school bus, or they ignore them completely,” Bronx bus accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “It’s a growing problem across the country, and it’s putting many children at risk.”

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) recently conducted a survey of 878 bus drivers that reported being passed 727 times in one day.

When applied to the more than 50,000 school buses on the road in New York State, drivers illegally passed yellow buses over 41,000 times each day.

It’s not just a problem in New York, either. Other states are also reporting a rise in the number of accidents involving school buses and passing vehicles. In Tampa, Florida, there’s an average of 486 accidents that result in 302 injuries and two deaths every year, WFTS reported. In some areas, accident rates have gone up 65-percent over the last five years. In DeKalb County, Georgia, bus drivers now average about 1.2 accidents each day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“School bus safety needs to be a priority for every single person that drives a vehicle,” Barnes said. “Passing a school bus with its lights on is illegal, and it’s unacceptable, because there are young lives at stake.”

Some school districts are considering attaching red-light cameras to their vehicles to catch negligent drivers in the act. In fact, North Carolina lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow counties to adopt ordinances that would assess civil penalties to violators who pass a stopped school bus.

In many cases, these incidents result in close-calls that go unpunished, but some incidents end with heartache and frustration. If your child has been injured, the Bronx school bus accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have worked on similar cases in all 50 states, and this experience has helped many families get significant compensation after an accident.

When a negligent driver ignores the flashing lights and injures your child, the Bronx bus accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes can protect your rights and help your family get the best result possible from an injury claim.

Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

The Accident Wasn’t My Fault

/ Car Accident /

The Accident Wasn’t My FaultNEW YORK – When you drive distracted and cause an accident, it’s no shock to see your insurance premiums spike. But even those who are not at fault could end up paying more for coverage, a consumer report found.

The Consumer Federation of America did some research on the insurance industry and obtained price quotes from a handful of the largest auto insurers in 10 cities, including Queens. The study found that drivers in New York City tend to fork over the most cash after getting into accidents they didn’t cause.

The consequences add to the costs of auto insurance, and in New York, that can be a steep penalty for doing nothing wrong.

In Queens, the average premium hike was $401 for those who were not-at-fault.

“These charges are in addition to the medical bills, lost wages and other costs associated with personal injuries that can happen as a result of a car crash in Queens,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Many of these victims suffer real injuries, and to be hit with an insurance increase can be another unexpected punishment.”

Two states have already banned such penalties – California and Oklahoma – but that leaves the majority of the nation’s drivers exposed to significant rate hikes if another driver crashes into them.

The report also found that some insurers were more unfair than others. One insurance company applied additional charges to every quote except in cities where rate hikes were prohibited by state law. These surcharges sometimes raised quoted rates by 10 percent or more.

Other insurance companies occasionally charged innocent drivers, and only one insurer never increased rates for those who had not-at-fault accidents.

Insurance groups argue that the report is overly simplistic – and it’s missing several key factors insurance companies use to generate the true cost of a driver’s auto premiums.

The report, whether it’s accurate or not, raise several questions:

WHY ARE SOME SAFE DRIVERS FACING HIGHER PREMIUMS?

According to the insurance companies, it’s often not clear to them who is at fault.

In some cases, the driver who hit you may not have insurance at all – forcing your insurance company to raise your rates. In other instances, your insurance company could incur costs while trying to get a payment from the other driver’s insurer.

HOW CAN A SAFE DRIVER KEEP THEIR PREMIUM LOW?

Shop. Shop. Shop.

Any driver should be able to find the best rate by shopping around. If your insurer slaps you with an unexpected rate hike, chances are some other insurance company will jump at the opportunity to sign you up at with a better deal.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I’M INJURED?

Car accidents are not only costly – they’re dangerous too. Even when drivers follow all the rules of the road and practice safe driving habits, one bad driver can change everything.

Although the insurance company will likely offer to pay certain medical expenses, it is a business for them – and a Queens car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says insurance companies don’t often provide crash victims with fair compensation.

Obtaining an experienced attorney is the easiest way to ensure that you and your family obtain the best result possible from an injury claim.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, contact the Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes (800)888-8888

How Older Drivers Can Steer Away From Crashes

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury /

How Older Drivers Can Steer Away From CrashesBUFFALO, N.Y. – As we age, we become more susceptible to injuries. Those over the age of 75 are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a car crash than any other age group. But one study has found ways to improve their chances on the road.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, educational programs targeted at older drivers have helped reduce the number of car crashes they’re involved in.

These safe driving courses honed-in on several high risk driving situations, including:

  • Driving at night
  • Driving in the rain
  • Driving in peak traffic hours
  • Driving on highways
  • Driving in school zones

Following the courses, researchers attached GPS devices in their cars to collect data on their driving behavior. The study found that the older drivers who took the safe driving program were more likely to regulate their driving patterns, and avoid the times and areas that were considered risky for their age.

Those who were subjected to the intervention also reported a strong willingness to change how they drive.

Researchers are now continuing their study to find out specifically how age impacts a person’s driving habits.

YOU’RE A SAFE DRIVER – OTHERS MAY NOT BE

One of the key issues study authors wanted to avoid was isolating seniors from their communities. Obviously, seniors may not be able to – or want to – completely avoid driving at night, or in the rain where eye sight and reaction times are critical skills for drivers to have.

The study points out that simply knowing how risky these driving situations are can significantly change a person’s driving behavior. Unfortunately, not everyone will be putting safety first when they’re behind the wheel at night.

Almost every car accident can be prevented with safe driving practices. When a negligent driver is distracted, speeding, or drunk, they can cause serious harm to themselves or others. The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes know just how prevalent these drivers can be.

In Erie County alone, more than 49,000 people received speeding tickets, and another 7,000 were cited for cell phone use, or texting while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, our Buffalo car accident attorneys can help. We’ve obtained more than $2 billion for our clients, and all of our lawyers have trial experience, so you can be confident we will do whatever it takes to win your case.

When a car accident impacts your family, contact a Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

The 5 Worst Distractions

/ Car Accident /

The 5 Worst DistractionsMELVILLE, N.Y. – For the second straight year, motor vehicle fatalities spiked on U.S. roads and the number is estimated to reach over 40,000, which would be the most in nearly 10 years. The accident rate is skyrocketing despite many safety improvements and campaigns that are supposed to reduce the risk to drivers and passengers.

Experts say Americans are simply driving more. We even set a new record for most miles driven in a single year: 3.2 trillion miles. But new data suggests something else may be at play, since the ratio of accidents to miles driven also rose.

Drivers have some nasty habits.

Distracted driving is considered an “epidemic” by many highway safety advocates, and what’s worse: most drivers know it’s dangerous, but many still text or browse the internet while they’re behind the wheel.

Smartphones aside, drivers have many other bad habits that fall into the category of ‘distracted driving.’ According to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences, nearly 40 percent of all crashes would have been avoided if the driver wasn’t distracted.

Aside from drinking and driving, researchers pinpointed five other extremely risky scenarios that often cause car crashes:

  1. Reaching for an object. This is usually the first mistake drivers make before they blatantly ignore the law and begin texting or surfing the web while they have their foot on the gas. But reaching for an object is a distraction itself – and many times, drivers are reaching for something other than their handheld devices. Reaching for something in your car increases the odds of a crash by up to 9 times.
  2. Using touch-screens. Many cars are now equipped with touch-screen menus and navigation. According to the study, drivers using these built-in devices increase their crash risk more than 4 times. Some drivers have become pros at using those touch-screens, but researchers warn that adds to the problem: in this case, practice doesn’t make perfect – it only creates a false sense of security.
  3. Operating the radio. This is one of the oldest distractions in the book. A driver toying with the radio dial doubles their crash risk. The odds get even greater when there’s an MP3 player present, like an iPod or the music player on your smartphone.
  4. Texting. There’s a reason most states have banned this action. We all know it’s dangerous, but around 40 percent of drivers ignore texting and driving laws, according to polls. It increases a driver’s crash risk by over 6 times, but surprisingly, it’s not the worst thing drivers have been guilty of.
  5. Dialing a number. Simply inputting numbers to make a call is the most disorienting form of distraction, researchers found. Dialing the 10 or more digits on any phone increases a driver’s crash risk by over 12 times. Many cars today have hands-free technology, but experts discovered this “safety” feature makes very little impact. Whether hand-held or hands-free, cell phone use was a factor in 26 percent of all car accidents in 2014.

WHEN DISTRACTIONS IMPACT FAMILIES

A distracted driver is not only a risk to themselves – they’re also a risk to every other driver on the road. Distractions are at play in millions of car crashes every year, many of which occur on Long Island roads.

When victims are injured by a negligent driver, proving a distraction was a factor can be difficult. With a strong legal team in your corner, a legal investigation can help uncover some of these facts and potentially maximize the value of a personal injury claim.

The Long Island car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have decades of combined experience gathering the facts, and preparing cases for trial. While other law firms may be hoping for a quick settlement, an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer understands that going to court can help victims get the best result possible.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help. Call one of our experienced attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Smartphones a Distraction for Everyone

/ Car Accident /

Smartphones a Distraction for EveryoneROCHESTER, N.Y. – We all know how dangerous smartphones can be in the hands of drivers, but new research has discovered handheld devices are even hurting drivers who put them away while they’re at the wheel.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average insurance premium rose to $926 last year. That’s a 16-percent spike over the last five years.

Insurance companies argue the raised premiums are required to cover an increasing number of claims, many of which are caused by distracted drivers. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently conducted a new study, which found that smartphone use increases a driver’s accident risk by 23 times, and it’s already the most common form of distraction on the road.

Other polls have estimated that more than 40 percent of Americans text and drive, so it’s no surprise that accidents are on the rise. Although only a portion of fatal accidents have been attributed to distracted driving, car crashes in general have skyrocketed. These include small fender-benders, often caused by inattention at the wheel.

A Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes estimates that distractions are a factor in as many as three out of every four crashes today.

“We work with personal injuries of all types, from minor sprains to life-changing injuries, we’ve seen all types of traffic collisions in Rochester,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a spike in the number of distracted drivers, and it’s a huge factor that we look at in almost every case we handle.”

Insurers see the trend too.

Looking at all types of accidents, they’ve determined that distractions play a major role; and these accidents are costly. So costly, that you could see your insurance premium go up – even if you turn your smartphone off while you’re driving.

Rochester car accident attorneys say the premiums could be slowed down, and in many cases, you could avoid getting slapped with a personal injury claim by putting the cell phone down in the car.

Unfortunately, not everyone will follow this suggestion, and it creates many dangerous situations on the roads.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, the Rochester car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help investigate your claim. In many cases, a strong legal team can prove a driver was distracted, which could increase the value of your case.

Contact an experienced and local attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

No Symptoms? A Concussion Can Still Impair Your Driving

/ Car Accident /

No Symptoms? A Concussion Can Still Impair Your DrivingNEW YORK – Roughly 4-million Americans suffer a concussion every year – and that’s just from sports. Millions more suffer concussions in car and work-related accidents, and doctors are just beginning to find out how devastating a brain injury can be.

A new study by University of Georgia researchers has found that the effects of a concussion can continue to impact a person’s driving ability, even when symptoms disappear. Researchers discovered that participants who recently suffered a concussion were likely to drive erratically at times, and in some cases their reactions mirrored those of a driver who may be under the influence of alcohol.

It’s the first study of its kind to take a deeper look into how a concussion can impact a person’s driving skills. Most concussion research has been focused on how the injury impacts athletes, and study authors noted that the issue of driving after a concussion has rarely been discussed.

The findings are concerning for safety advocates because it could put more lives at risk. A New York car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes said concussions are very common injuries, and most of the injuries don’t occur in sports.

“More than half of all concussions are caused by falls or traffic collisions, so there could be hundreds of drivers on the road right now who have recently suffered a traumatic brain injury in  New York,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “What’s more concerning is that many of these drivers may not even know they’re impaired by their injury.”

The research was conducted using virtual cars which simulated real-life driving situations. The drivers, all of whom had not reported symptoms of a concussion for at least 48 hours, consistently had less vehicle control, according to the report.

In many cases drivers were swerving, or they showed a delay in their reaction time. Researchers believe the data implies that driving should at least be restricted until concussion symptoms clear, or perhaps even longer.

Researchers said the next step is to determine exactly when driving abilities start to improve. They hope their information can help health officials set guidelines that could determine when driving should be restricted.

Until then, there could be thousands of dangerous drivers on the road who are unknowingly impaired. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, a New York car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes can investigate your case and help determine whether another driver was fit to be behind the wheel.

Concussions and other injuries should be taken seriously, and the New Yokr car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have the resources to get the best doctors on your side. For a free consultation, call our New York car accident lawyers today.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Crashes Surge in Winter

/ Car Accident /

Crashes Surge in WinterBUFFALO, N.Y. – Crashes in February and other winter months could cost over $185-million in additional repairs, and some states experience an extreme uptick in the number of accidents when temperatures dip.

According to new research from Accident Exchange, frosty streets, wet weather and a lack of daylight cause a 15 percent rise in accidents between January and March, when compared to the summertime figures taken between June and August.

The company analyzed nearly 30,000 traffic collisions and found that the most dangerous time is during the evening commute. According to their figures, winter accidents spike by 30 percent in the 5 o’clock rush hour alone, as drivers struggle with low light conditions and arctic weather.

The study also determined that Friday is the worst day for car crashes, as drivers are more fatigued from a long work week. Fridays were reported to have 19 percent more accidents than any other week day.

Car repairs during the months of January, February and March come with a hefty price tag as well; costing drivers nearly $200-million.

A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says that figure doesn’t include any potential medical costs associated with a car crash, which could create an even larger cost burden for drivers.

“Treating an injury is often one of the most expensive, but necessary costs associated with a crash in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “It can also be very difficult to get fair compensation for an injury, which is why anyone who’s been injured in a collision should look for legal representation.”

According to several insurance associations, the average claim for a car accident injury totals over $15,000. Buffalo car accident lawyers say that figure may not even cover all of the injuries or treatments, and there are several ways to maximize a claim.

According to the Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes, preparing a case for trial is one of the many ways they’re able to secure the best result possible for their clients. Some other ways they can help maximize a victim’s compensation include:

  • Detailed documentation of the accident
  • Requesting official reports and evidence
  • Investigating the accident for other pieces of evidence, including video or photographs
  • Obtaining the RIGHT experts, including doctors, and witnesses
  • Filing paperwork on-time
  • Knowing, and beating the insurance tricks that could devalue a victim’s case

If you’ve been injured in a wintertime accident, you’re not alone. You have the right to be compensated for any injuries you’ve suffered as a result of another driver’s negligence, but it can be difficult fighting the insurance company alone.

The Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have been trusted by Western New Yorkers for over 50 years, and with their no-fee promise, they won’t get paid unless they win your case, so contact an experienced trial attorney for a free case evaluation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Client Thanks

I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.

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