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Textalyzer check of phones may be adopted for car accidents

In New York City and the state of New York, it is illegal to use a mobile telephone while driving. This includes for talking or for texting. Not only are there fines for violating the law, but points can also be added to one's driver's license record. The license can ultimately be suspended if the threshold of points is reached. The law is designed to prevent an increase in car accidents caused by distracted driving due to the use of digital devices.

One man who lost a son to texting and driving is spearheading a legislative effort to strengthen the current law. He is supporting a proposal currently being considered by the New York Assembly and Senate to initiate a "textalyzer"  procedure to check a driver's cell phone for activity that occurred just prior to the occurrence of an auto accident. The bill will not criminalize the use of cell phones prior to an accident, but one could lose one's driver's license for repeat violations.

The "Textalyzer": It's Come Down To This

It is no secret that distracted driving is responsible for a disproportionate amount of accidents, injuries, and deaths in New York and around the nation. Governments have poured money into advertising campaigns and passed laws barring the use of cellular phone behind the wheel.

Sadly, these efforts have not curbed the damage that is done by distracted driving on our roads and highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,500 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving as recently as 2015.  

Unlicensed NY Contractor Faces Manslaughter Charges

A Senseless Yet Predictable Tragedy Claims A Worker's Life

In a story that has echoes of the early industrial age - the time before workplace safety regulations - an unlicensed contractor faces manslaughter charges as a result of a teen worker's death.

Prevention of construction accidents demands a culture of safety

The construction industry in New York City and nationwide is a high-risk venture for the workers who sign up to do that kind of work. There are many hazards that excessively expose construction workers to disabling injuries and deaths. It is thus important that those companies that want to be successful in the industry will pay strong attention to protecting the safety of its workers from construction accidents.

In addition, whenever a construction accident occurs and construction workers are injured, there is a possibility that those workers may be able to sue one or more business entities to collect personal injury damages over and above their normally-prescribed workers' compensation benefits. Those lawsuits can come back to haunt the employer's financial prospects, which is another reason why the best companies believe in a culture of safety on the job. As workers in New York City have already made clear, it is also important for employers to provide a variety of necessary training programs to prepare workers to know and prevent some of the more typical hazards that exist.

What Do Tourists, The Scantily Clad and Vendors Have In Common?

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New York City is a beautiful place to be this time of year. The foliage has returned to Central Park and the warm air makes getting out and enjoying our city an experience to look forward to every day. 

Unfortunately, this time of year also results in increased risk of injury for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. What is the reason for this increased risk? Let's take a look at some of the top causes of spring and summer injuries in our fair city. 

Early investigation benefits injured victims of car accidents

Visitors to New York City often marvel at how the taxi cabs and many privately operated vehicles "race" busily through the streets of Manhattan. They weave and wind their way in an apparent marathon, marked by a complete fearlessness of the car accidents that their driving appears to invite. It was that kind of business-as-usual that seems to mark a recent car accident at Fifth Avenue near 49th Street when one taxi driver struck a second cab and sideswiped it.

After hitting the other taxi, the operator hit a lamppost, bounced into a fence and violently flipped over, according to the police. Both the driver and his passenger were taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious but stable condition, according to officials. It appears that the sideswiping of the other vehicle was an act of negligence, even though the maneuvering by the cabbie was probably not apparently unusual in the see-saw traffic patterns seen as normal in many parts of the city.

Tort recoveries for pedestrian accidents may be a deterrence

Pedestrians are unintended targets for New York City drivers who think that they have to drive faster, smarter and tougher than their competitors on the roads. This sometimes makes the city look like a bumper car game at a local amusement park. But games do not end in death, whereas careless and reckless operating of motor vehicles within the city has resulted in many pedestrian accidents and deaths.

Public transportation, including buses, maintenance vehicles and taxi cabs are generally in the spotlight for knocking down their fair share of pedestrians trying to cross the street in crosswalks that do not always deter improper driving. A good example is a recent accident on the Upper East Side involving a taxi driver whose vehicle ran over and killed a 50-year-old man on April 22 at about 9:30 p.m.  The cab driver had been making a turn onto the street where the man was crossing.

Truck accidents claim many lives each and every year

New York City residents understand the dangers inherent in road travel. The sheer volume of people who share the roadways is staggering, and it comes as no surprise that accidents can and will happen. However, it should also be said that when a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she accepts responsibility for the safety of others on the road. That is a heavy burden, as car and truck accidents seriously injure or claim the lives of thousands of people each and every year.

An example is found in a recent crash that left three people hurt and required the services of multiple first responders. The accident took place during rush hour traffic on a Monday evening in the Rosedale section of Queens. A tractor-trailer was near the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard and Brookville Boulevard when a smaller vehicle struck the truck and became wedged underneath.

Manhattan worker critically injured by electric shock

A construction worker suffered severe injuries earlier this month after an electric shock incident on the job, as reported by New York Daily News.

The incident took place on Tenth Ave. and W. 48th St., in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. The victim, a construction worker in his 20s, used a sledgehammer to drive metal poles into the road. When the hammer struck an electric wire, the worker experienced electric shocks and sustained severe injuries as a result. This horrific incident occurred at 2:30PM on Thursday, April 6th.

The victim was reported to be in critical condition at Mount Sinai West medical center. We wish him a full recovery after this tragic event.

Unfortunately, this incident highlights a trend in construction-related workplace accidents over the years.

Jose Cruz Killed in Site Fall - DOB to Increase Inspections

A city construction worker plunged a horrifying 18 feet to his death at a construction site last Wednesday, as reported by New York Daily News.

On April 12th, Jose Cruz went to work at a construction site at 1604 Broadway in Times Square. The project was to become a Grand Ole Opry-themed music venue and restaurant. At around 11:05am, Cruz was on an i-beam working to remove a steel deck from a slab when he fell and sustained significant head trauma. He was taken to Mount Sinai West soon afterwards where he was pronounced dead.

"It's a tragedy, and we're very, very upset by it," said Rick Chandler, Commissioner of Department of Buildings.

New York City's Department of Buildings also believes Cruz's death was "completely preventable," as there were no tie offs with the protection equipment Cruz was wearing.