Tag Archives: traffic accidents

This Social Media App Could Kill Your Kids

Technology is constantly evolving and new forms of social media are being created every day. Snapchat is the newest and most popular social network; just about everyone has it on their phone or knows someone who actively uses it. It’s a combination of a video and photo app complete with the ability to add and write captions, filters and even a speedometer filter. Users, who are largely made up of teens are living in the super connected age; they never want to miss a thing, so they’re always logged on. This means snapping while in school, out with friends and even in the car. The biggest problem with this app is that users are “snapping” while behind the wheel.

According to Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students against Destructive Driving (SADD) a survey that was taken of 11th and 12th graders across the country proved that teens are using snapchat more than any other form of social media when driving. Out of all other possible digital distractions, Snapchat ranked highest at 38%. There are an alarming number of car accidents and fatalities being caused by users that were snapping while driving. The speedometer filter is also a major factor in users snapping while driving. There have been reports of teens in car accidents who were snapping while their speeds were maxing over 100 MPH.

snap and drive

It’s important that parents have conversations about distracted driving and the consequences of using Snapchat and other social media apps while driving.  With Snapchat’s growing popularity and constant updates making it even more enticing to use whenever and where ever; teens need to know that it’s okay to put the phone down. In New York, lawmakers are pushing for Text and Driving/Distracted Driving tickets to be treated like DWIs. A conviction may result in license suspension. Snapchat’s core users are under the age of 24 and new drivers cannot afford a five point ticket (Improper use of Portable Electronic Device).

Make sure you speak to your children about their phone usage while behind the wheel. Remind them that it is against the law, can cost them (or you the parent) money, points on their record or even worse, their life. If you or someone in your family has received a summons for using an electronic device while driving, please do not hesitate to contact me. Young drivers should not have any infractions on their records, and as an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney I can fight for them. Contact me at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com


Photo: NY Times 

NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer | How to Avoid Traffic this Christmas

A record-breaking 100 million Americans are expected to travel over the four-day Christmas holiday period, and Christmas Eve will be the worst day to travel in New York City.

The lowest gas prices since 2009 and a stronger economy are fueling the surge of people traveling 50 miles or more during the holiday, according to AAA.

The worst day to drive in New York City over the holidays will be Thursday, according to data from the smartphone app Waze.

The company relies on crowdsourced information from drivers, and is used by 1.9 million motorists in New York City, as well as 50 million people nationally. It also shares information from the NYPD on road closures for major events.

On top of congestion on Christmas Eve, there is a 42% increase in car crashes, and an almost 30% boost in hazard reports in New York City compared with an average from the two weeks before the holidays and after, the company’s data shows.

Hazards locally include potholes, vehicles stopped on the road, construction, and objects on the road such as a tree branch or fallen sign.

Nationally, the worst day to travel during the week of Christmas is Wednesday, Waze says. Drivers typically hit the roads for holiday travel around 11 a.m. Congestion peaks that afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m. as more motorists leave work for holiday travel.

Sunday — the end of the holiday weekend — is also a nightmare on the roads, with a combination of heavy traffic congestion, traffic crashes, and other police alerts.

If drivers can take Monday off from work, it’s a much smoother day to drive home.

Flyers can also expect New York City metropolitan area airports to be mobbed. Between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1, almost 6 million passengers will fly through the JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports.

JFK will see 2.5 million flyers, and 1.6 million people will travel through LaGuardia. Another 1.7 million will fly to or from Newark.

Airfares are down 6%, an average of $174 a flight roundtrip compared with last year, according to AAA. Hotel and car rental prices are up, however.

More than 90% of Americans who take trips will drive, or more than 91 million people. AAA says they expect almost a million drivers will be stranded and call the association for help, due to flat tires, dead batteries, and motorists locked out of their cars.

Another 5.8 million people will fly, and 3.5 million travelers will take buses, trains, and cruises.

Article Originally Featured on AM New York

*Photo Credit: “Northbound I-405 rush hour” By: Oran Viryincy/(Source: Flickr)


Long Island Woman Faces DWI and Leandra's Law Charges

A Long Island woman faces a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated after she was involved in an accident while her 3-year-old son rode along as a passenger, police said Sunday.

Cristi Rivas was driving a 2007 Mercedes Benz SUV south in Wheatley Heights Saturday evening when she rear-ended a car driven by Khizar Kharam, Suffolk County investigators said.

Rivas, 38, of Dix Hills, and Kharam, 63, sustained minor injuries and were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, police said. Rivas’ toddler also was taken to the hospital for evaluation, but didn’t appear to be injured.

Rivas was charged with aggravated DWI because her passenger was less than 15 years old, a violation of Leandra’s Law. She was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Her son was released to a family member, police said.

There was no information as to whether Rivas had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

Article Originally Posted on NBC New York

*Photo Credit: “Drunk Driving Among US College Students Still at an Alarming Rate” By: James Palinsad/Source: Flickr

New Truck Route on Oyster Bay Road (Off of Long Island Expressway)

New Truck Route on South Oyster Bay Road

Original Article featured on Newsday

There is a new truck route on South Oyster Bay Road that operates as an access road off of the Long Island Expressway route 107.  Although letters were sent notifying South Oyster Bay County about the change, no one filed an objection.  Thus, the change took place.  Jane Harrigan, principle of Our Lady of Mercy School fears that children traveling to and from school will be unsafe crossing the streets.  She suggests that trucks use the106/107 truck route nearby.

The new route allows access to double-trailer trucks as long as 65 feet and auto-carries as long as 75 feet to drive on this local road.  Residents feel that they should have a say about the changes as they’re also affected by the rumbling noises caused by the loud trucks.

Unfortunately, the town cannot override the state on the new route decision because it meets the required safety criteria.  Withdraw of the new designation will only happen if there is proof of actual safety problems such as truck accidents or proof of trucks veering into other lanes while turning.  Until then, the state is obliged to allow the truck route for as long as safety requirements are met.

New Safety Details Regarding Self-Driving Cars

California state officials have recently released information detailing six accidents involving self-driving car prototypes. The accidents were not serious enough to result in any injuries to the drivers however. It is important to note that California law mandates that a person is still present in the driver’s seat of a self-driving car while the cars are out on the streets. These laws aim to prevent such accidents which result from distracted driving or texting while driving, which lead to traffic tickets with hefty fines. The Associated Press (AP) successfully argued that the California DMV was improperly withholding information about self-driving car accidents that was previously confidential. Interestingly, 8 different companies have permission to test 82 self-driving cars in California, but Google has been testing the most with over 1.8 million miles tested in total. Google was responsible for 5 out of the 6 total crashes, while Delphi was responsible for the one other crash. In addition, Google has become more open about releasing information about collisions and Google officials claim to be proud of their safety record. Google has been testing its self-driving cars since 2009, but it was only until September of 2014 that the California DMV officially permitted the testing of self-driving cars. Will self-driving cars ever be allowed to test in the complex traffic of New York City?

Self-Driving Cars Involved in 4 Traffic Accidents – Kind Of

Since September, 4 out of California’s 50 self-driving cars have been involved in traffic accidents – however, two of the accidents occurred while the person behind the wheel was driving. All of the accidents were minor and occurred at speeds of less than 10 miles per hour. Accidents involving self-driving cars are required by law to be reported to the California DMV, which could not release details about the accidents, such as who was at fault, due to confidentiality issues. However, sources within Google and Delphi, the companies rolling out this new technology, reported that the self-driving cars were not at fault in any of the accidents. Delphi went a step further and described the accident involving their car, stating that the self-driving car was stopped while waiting to make a left hand turn when it was broadsided by another vehicle. Once again though, this car was not in self-driving mode.

Safety statistics involving self-driving cars are extremely important as they can make or break public and political perceptions of the technology. As such, all incidents involving self-driving cars are heavily scrutinized, as evidenced by this report: it’s stated numerous times that 4 self-driving vehicles were involved in traffic accidents, even though 2 of them were being driven by regular people – in essence, those 2 were traffic accidents just like any other.

Are these traffic accidents a sign of things to come with self-driving cars? And who should get a traffic ticket if / when it’s determined that a self-driving car was at fault in an accident?