MELVILLE, 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ROCHESTER, 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.
NEW YORK – A new analysis of hospital statistics found that over 200,000 people die each year in hospitals; and their deaths were preventable, if they were properly treated by doctors and hospital staff.
According to their research, medical campuses often have the knowledge to prevent accidents, but they tend to cut corners in the financial books.
The report calls on hospitals around the globe to invest more into patient safety, which could include mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios, which have been linked to fewer cases of medication errors, pressure sores, and falls.
Study authors admitted that their data does have a slight flaw, as the statistics included older and sicker patients, but researchers argued that the 200,000 preventable deaths may be an underestimate. That’s because their research didn’t include diagnostic errors, which are some of the most common slip-ups in the medical community.
“Advocates are not calling to prevent problems for which solutions are not known, but calling to implement known solutions to prevent all too common problems,” the report says. “What ties the occurrence of preventable adverse events and mortality together is the willingness and determination of facilities to adopt a culture of safety and to invest in patient safety.”
Researchers noted that the numbers add-up to over 5 preventable deaths each year, per hospital in the U.S., or one every five weeks. In addition, researchers believe that figure could be doubled or tripled if their data accounted for diagnostic errors.
Lead author, Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh wrote in the journal, “In what other industry would such a record be tolerated, let alone defended?”
WHAT CAN VICTIMS DO?
Medical errors are very common in the United States, and many families have felt hopeless when they tried addressing the issue with the doctors directly.
At Cellino & Barnes, our New York medical malpractice lawyers have helped many families get justice after an accident in a hospital. They understand how difficult it can be to get fair compensation for a medical incident, but our lawyers are trial-tested, and they’ve helped our clients obtain over $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of someone else’s mistake, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – The snow storm on Thursday brought nine inches of snow to the metro area, and it created some slick conditions that have frustrated, and even injured New Yorkers for days.
The storm not only coated city streets with a layer of snow, it also made sidewalks and pathways messy for the millions of people who use them to get to work. As the snow plows cleared the streets, it left some icy areas on sidewalks where the snow banks could build-up.
In most cases, someone is responsible for moving that snow from pathways, but that doesn’t always happen in a timely fashion, if at all.
A Brooklyn slip and fall attorney at Cellino & Barnes says most property owners have a few hours after a storm to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, entryways, and staircases.
“It is part of the responsibility that comes with owning or managing property and businesses in Brooklyn,” slip and fall lawyer Steve Barnes said. “It’s also a safety hazard, and a lot of people don’t realize just how dangerous an icy walkway can be.”
The dangerous aspect of icy sidewalks and stairways hit headlines on Friday when a New York doorman slipped on a step and crashed through a glass door. The broken glass caused a deep cut, which ended up killing him, DNAInfo reported.
Similar slip and fall accidents across Brooklyn have resulted in broken bones, torn ligaments, ruptured disks, and concussions.
It’s difficult to estimate how much business owners have budgeted for snow and ice removal, but the city set aside $88 million to clean-up snow this winter alone. With more than 2,300 snow plows and spreaders in city, that job can be done rather quickly.
Clearing the snow and ice is often a more grueling adventure for property owners, who often do the work manually. However, it’s a responsibility that could help save entire families pain and suffering.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ICE GETS UNDER YOUR FEET
Falls are some of the most common accidents behind emergency room visits in New York City, and there’s clear uptick of slip and fall incidents during the winter months when the snow falls, melts, and solidifies into icy mounds.
If you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk or staircase, it’s probably not your fault. In fact, victims may be entitled to compensation in many cases.
The Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have helped many New Yorkers maximize their compensation by fully investigating the incident, including how long it took property owners to address the problem.
When winter is at its worst, all New Yorkers must do everything they can to make public – and private – pathways safe for everyone else. If you’ve been hurt, contact the Brooklyn slip and fall attorneys at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – Our city is a beautiful place to take a walk, but it’s becoming risky to stroll through some neighborhoods. It’s not crime you’ll have to worry about – it’s the deterioration of some pathways.
Some neighborhoods feature walkways and steps that are overgrown with weeds, falling apart into debris, or they’re just uneven, making them dangerous for anyone who uses them. According to the Riverdale Press, residents are expressing concern over the shape of the pathways and staircases in the northwest Bronx.
Even community board members say most of the walkways are in a state of disarray. The problem has become so prevalent that neighborhood leaders are developing “report cards” for area pathways.
This problem isn’t specific to the Bronx; in fact, there are walkways all over New York that are crumbling to the point where people can get seriously injured.
Some paths are difficult to navigate in warm, sunny conditions. An overgrowth of plants and weeds obstruct some walkways from being usable. And when colder weather hits the Big Apple, water becomes the real problem, coating the already dangerous walkways – both public and private – with a layer of ice.
Thousands of New Yorkers use these pathways every day to get to work, school, or local marketplaces. Depending on the location of these crumbling walkways, the responsibility to keep them clean and safe may fall in different hands.
Most public paths are maintained by the Transportation Department while others, such as those in an apartment complex, could fall under the responsibility of private owners. In either case, there is an obligation to keep any walkway or staircase in a clean and safe state.
This could include:
Fixing uneven paths, where there is a tripping hazard
Removing potentially dangerous debris
Trimming plants and shrubs to avoid dangerous overgrowth
Clearing snow and ice from walkways
In many cases, there is work being done to correct the problems, but until New York’s crumbling sidewalks and staircases are fixed, someone could get seriously injured.
WHAT TO DO AFTER TRIPPING OR SLIPPING ON A WALKWAY
Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental injury in New York. These injuries can often be traced back to negligent property owners who failed to maintain their paths, or clear them of snow, ice, or other debris.
When a person gets injured in a trip or slip and fall accident, the medical expenses can often exceed $15,000 or more. Dealing with negligent property owners or cut-rate insurance companies makes the problem even more frustrating for victims, who are already struggling to pay the medical bills or get to work.
If you’ve been injured after tripping or slipping on a crumbling pathway or staircase, there are people who can help. The Bronx slip and fall lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have been trusted by New Yorkers for over 50 years, and they have experience finding the negligent party and holding them accountable.
A Bronx slip and fall lawyer can also help victims maximize their injury claim, which can help cover the costs for medical bills, day-to-day expenses, lost time and work, pain and suffering, and more.
When a crumbling or slippery pathway puts you or your loved one in the hospital, contact the team that has helped thousands of New Yorkers get the best result possible.
PHILADELPHIA – A pair of SEPTA Market Frankford Line trains collided at the 69th Street Terminal on Tuesday morning, pushing several cars off the track and sending several people to area hospitals.
The accident happened on a turnaround loop at the end of the line at around 8:30 a.m. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reported the trains were not in service at the time of the crash, and few were on board.
Four people were hospitalized, including the train operator and a man who was asleep on one of the trains, Upper Darby Police reported. Officers tweeted that none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, and no one was trapped on the derailed trains.
An experienced train accident attorney said a full legal investigation could look into all the factors that may have led to the accident.
Some of these factors could include:
Potential track flaws
Mechanical issues with the train itself
Structural faults in train design
A train accident lawyer will also look into the history of train derailments and accidents at the terminus and turn-around.
It is not clear how fast the train was going at the time of the crash, but an experienced legal investigator can use these facts and to help train accident victims get compensation for their injuries and hospital bills.
This compensation can help pay for:
Pain and suffering
Future medical costs
Other pieces of evidence that could help accident victims include:
History of incidents at the station
Eye-witness statements, recordings, photos, and other media
Train engineer experience records and qualifications
Train accident records
Records of mechanical flaws and malfunctions
When an injured passenger files a claim, their claim can also pressure railroad companies into making meaningful changes that could help prevent future accidents.
NEW 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.
BUFFALO, 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.
NEW YORK – New research claims drivers – not riders – are to blame for most accidents involving a car and a motorcycle.
The study, conducted at the Monash University Accident Research Centre, found that car or truck drivers often make mistakes while scanning traffic, failing to see a motorcyclist.
The report looked at more than 230 accidents involving motorcyclists who were taken to hospitals, many of which were not found to be at fault for their crash.
Drivers were often found to make critical mistakes in light traffic, where decisions must be made quickly, and where speed can be a factor.
On the other hand, motorcyclists were more likely to be at fault in a gridlock situation. This is likely due to the fact that it’s easier for motorcycles to maneuver around vehicles, which are moving slowly in heavier traffic.
Researchers also found a direct correlation between the rider’s age and who was at fault. Older riders were less likely to have caused an accident, which suggests that experience is a valuable factor that could prevent hundreds of injuries. For every 10-year increase in a motorcyclist’s age, there was nearly a 40 percent decrease in rider error, the study found.
“Those who drive cars, trucks or SUVs are protected by things like seat belts and air bags, but if you ride a motorcycle, it’s just you and a helmet,” Long Island motorcycle accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Even at low speeds, one mistake by a driver can spell disaster for a person on a bike.”
Cellino & Barnes has been fighting on behalf of injured motorcyclists for over 50 years, and they’ve helped their clients get the best result possible from an injury claim.
This experience is crucial if you or a loved one has ever been injured in a motorcycle crash. The Long Island motorcycle accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have investigated accidents similar to yours, and they have a proven track record of winning cases in court.
When a negligent driver hits you, or causes you to lose control of your bike, contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – Your job can be stressful, and that stress can affect the way you drive. So, it may not be surprising that those working long hours in a high-pressure environment have the highest premiums.
A new report found that those who work in the healthcare industry are also some of those most likely to cause a car accident – and general practitioners are twice as likely to make a claim than other careers.
According to the study, almost 13 percent of GPs have been in a car crash in the past five years, and several other healthcare professions dominated the list of jobs that have oddly high claim rates. The top ten most at-risk careers include:
District Nurse (10.46%)
Drug Addiction Counselor (10.49%)
Hospital Doctor (10.66%)
Hospital Consultant (12.65%)
General Practitioner (12.98%)
Experts say those who work in medicine are typically under a high amount of stress, and that kind of pressure has a huge impact on the way they drive – even when they aren’t distracted. Unfortunately, these careers are often demanding, and it can be difficult to leave work at the office when a person gets in their car, researchers said.
In contrast, some jobs make very safe drivers, like butchers. Only one-percent of those who work in the meat-packing industry have filed a claim in the last five years. Other relatively safe drivers included:
Construction Workers (3.49%)
THE CONCERN OFF THE ROAD
The new findings are not only concerning for those working in the healthcare industry – it should also concern patients and their families.
Occupational health experts say high-stress professions, like those found in a hospital, can dramatically affect a person’s cognitive functions and overall health. In many cases, a person can become clumsy or absent minded, and they can often struggle to concentrate on tasks.
Driving a vehicle is just one of those important tasks. In some cases, stress has been linked to medical errors.
Those mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming over 250,000 lives each year. A New York medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says almost all of these accidents are preventable, but hospitals continue to place high demands on their doctors and support staff.
If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a medical error, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Some of these errors include:
When any of these mistakes happen, you need someone to stand-up for your rights. The New York medical malpractice lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have represented injured victims in the Empire State for over 50 years, and they’ve helped clients obtain more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
An experienced New York medical malpractice attorney can fully investigate your claim, to help you and your family get the best result possible. For a free consultation, contact Cellino & Barnes today.
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