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New York City Personal Injury Blog

New York ranks as one of the worst cities for drivers

You recently moved to Manhattan to start a new job. You have always owned a car and commuted to work, and so you assume that you will do the same thing in New York. You know that it's a big city and that a lot of people use public transportation, but you like the freedom of driving yourself.

Is this is a wise idea? Should you keep your car and drive, or should you learn a bit more about public transportation?

Does optimism bias lead to distracted driving?

A lot of things lead to distracted driving. Some people struggle with phone addiction, for instance, so they feel like they cannot put the phone down behind the wheel. Others run late for everything they do, so they often find themselves eating or drinking behind the wheel as they attempt to get back on schedule.

However, one thing that does not quite get enough attention is optimism bias. This is a way that people see the world, in which they always assume the best about the future and the potential outcomes.

One day, one driver, two drunk driving arrests

Residents in New York State may often hear reports about how strict the state's laws on drunk driving are. Most people are generally pleased to hear these reports as they provide a feeling of safety and security. Other people may wonder whether or not the laws are actually strict enough, knowing that there are many drivers out there who not only make the selfish and dangerous choice to drive drunk once but do so repeatedly.

A story recently reported by the New York Post highlights the reality of this concern, showcasing how one woman was arrested two times within a period of roughly six hours for driving under the influence of alcohol.

How could pedestrians avoid getting hit by a cyclist?

With the amount of traffic on the streets, New York is a city where walking is heavily encouraged. It can give you a good workout and more time to enjoy the unique locations and architecture that the Big Apple has to offer.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the impatient drivers in Times Square you’ll have to worry about. There are plenty of reckless residents you’ll come across on the sidewalks as well. Cyclists haven’t had the best relationship with pedestrians in this city. Despite the multiple bike lane expansions within the last decade, there have been more than 2,250 pedestrians injured by cyclists since 2011. As more cyclists are trying to get the most out of the last months before winter arrives, keep these safety tips in mind for your next stroll:

Taking action after your child was injured by a toy

When we buy new toys and gifts for our children, we expect them to be safe. Toys and equipment intended for use by children should have an indication of what age they are appropriate for. If your child is 4 and they were injured by a toy that was labeled as being suitable for children aged 3 and above, for example, you will be left feeling confused and upset.

Unfortunately, children can be injured by toys in several ways, from choking on small pieces, to being injured by sharp objects. Additionally, it's common for children to become injured because the product they were using had a defect. If your child has been injured by a toy, it is important that you take action to get justice and to gain the damages that you deserve.

Can surgical errors be avoided?

If you are like many people in New York, you are shocked and concerned every time you hear about a medical error - especially one that results in the death of a patient. Sadly, these events happen all too often. Some research in recent years even indicates that only cancer and heart disease claim more lives than medical errors in the United States every year. There are many types of medical mistakes that may occur. Some involve medication, others involve diagnosis problems and others are related to surgeries.

Becker's Hospital Review provided a review of the results of one study that was recently published in JAMA Open Network that took a look at the causes of some surgical errors. Out of 188 adverse events that resulted from surgeries reviewed in the study, 56% were influenced by some type of human error. That means the actions or inactions of surgeons, surgical nurses or other health care professionals caused harm to patients.

How to bike safely in a city setting

When biking in a city setting, it's imperative that your safety and well-being take priority over everything else. While there's no surefire way to prevent an accident, there are safety tips you can follow to help avoid trouble.

Here are five things you can do to bike safely in a city setting:

  • Make eye contact with drivers: Your biggest threat is motor vehicles, so you should make eye contact with drivers whenever possible. When combined with hand signals for making turns, you'll feel better about your ability to remain safe.
  • Watch for opening doors: Just the same as moving vehicles, those parked on the side of the road are dangerous. Your biggest concern is a driver or passenger opening their door into your lane of travel.
  • Beware of turning vehicles: Right turns are most dangerous, as drivers don't always look over their shoulder to see if pedestrians or bicyclists are in close proximity. As you approach intersections on your bicycle, keep an eye on any vehicles that may be turning right as you travel forward in a straight line.
  • Watch for pedestrians: Pedestrians, just the same as motor vehicles, can cause an accident. You can protect against this by taking extra caution, such as by passing behind them, not in front.
  • Use the bicycle lane when available: You don't always have access to a bicycle lane, but when you do it's the safest place to ride. Your primary concern here is sharing the lane with other bicycles. However, keep in mind that it's still possible for a motor vehicle to drift into the bicycle lane.

Can you seek damages in an elevator accident?

It’s difficult to imagine being stuck in an elevator. You’re on your way up to the office, and the elevator chugs to a stop. Maybe the lights flicker. Worse, they go out. You’re suspended by cables high above the ground, in a 36 x 48” box. You hit the buttons, but they don’t seem to do anything. Maybe there’s a broken call box, just a nest of wires. You panic.

Even more difficult to imagine: being injured in an elevator. But it happens. In 1994, for example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated roughly 10,000 “elevator injuries requiring hospitalization” that year alone.

Are you ready to share the road with e-scooters?

The rules of the road are always changing, but many New Yorkers may get caught off-guard by a law that may soon affect their safety on the streets. Both chambers of the legislature have passed a law that allows for rental e-scooters on New York streets, except for in Manhattan.

The bill has not yet been delivered to the governor for his signature, but there is no indication at this time to anticipate a veto. Moreover, with high levels of support in both the House and the Senate, it is likely that the legislature could choose to override any veto that does occur.

Autonomous vehicles and levels of automation

Some residents in New York may be very excited to see the development of self-driving cars. Other people may be a bit concerned about ceding control of driving to a computer. Regardless of their feelings on the topic, these vehicles are the future and it is important to understand what is really meant when the term "autonomous vehicle" is used.

As explained by CNET, there is not just one form of autonomous vehicles. In fact, there are six different levels of autonomy in vehicles. Five years ago, the Society of Automotive Engineers developed the definitions and descriptions that classify cars into one of these levels. These levels have since been adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and they range from level 0, which features no automation at all, to level 5, which is full automation and the complete lack of human driver involvement.

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