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White Plains New York Legal Blog

How drivers can stay safe on the winter roads

Residents of New York will want to head out on the road as infrequently as possible with the arrival of winter weather. Wet, icy and snowy roads lead to loss of traction and to cars spinning out of control or sliding into someone else's rear bumper. If they must head out, then they should consider the following safety tips. It all begins with slowing down.

Then, drivers must widen the gap between themselves and other vehicles. A minimum of five to six seconds is recommended; this is a safe distance to keep in all seasons. Drivers should brake gently and gradually. If their car is equipped with ABS, EBD and BA systems, drivers must know how to brake properly with these technologies.

Survey finds many workers experience or see discrimination

While companies in New York and elsewhere are doing more to create a diverse and inclusive work environment, nearly two-thirds of employees still report experiencing or witnessing workplace discrimination, according to a new survey by Glassdoor. The poll involved 5,000 employed adults from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study found that 64% of American workers believe their employers are investing more in workplace diversity programs than they have in previous years. However, 61% of U.S. survey participants also said they have witnessed or been the victim of some sort of discrimination based on race, gender, age or sexual orientation. In comparison, 55% of participants from the U.K., 43% of participants from France and 37% of participants from Germany said the same.

Personal injury and death rising for pedestrians and cyclists

Auto accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities are an ongoing problem in New York and across the nation. Given the frequency with which these accidents occur, researchers are tasked with analyzing and formulating strategies to reduce them. Part of that is accruing accident statistics.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, more than 36,000 fatalities were caused by motor vehicle accidents in the United States. That was a 2% reduction from 2017, in which 913 fewer people lost their lives. Despite that improvement, there was an increase in cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Auto accident fatalities had been static since 2009. By 2015, they began rising again.

Operation Safe Driver Week nabs 17,500 drivers for speeding

Each year, speeding drivers injure thousands of people in New York and across the U.S. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute, excess speed has been a factor in over 25% of all deadly traffic accidents since 2008. In an effort to combat the problem, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance made speed the focus of its annual Operation Safe Driver Week campaign.

During the initiative, which was held July 14-20, law enforcement officers throughout North America cited 46,752 drivers of commercial and passenger vehicles for a variety of traffic offenses. Speeding was the top violation cited during the campaign, accounting for 17,556 citations and 21,001 warnings. Meanwhile, failure to a wear a seat belt was the second most common violation cited, accounting for 2,748 total citations. Failure to obey a traffic control device was the third most common violation cited, accounting for 966 total citations.

Study lists 15 states by rate of teen drinking and driving

Drunk driving leads to thousands of accidents and is, in fact, a factor in a third of all driving deaths in New York and the rest of the nation. What's more, it wasn't only adults engaging in the behavior. Data from the CDC shows that 5.5% of teenagers drive after consuming alcohol.

A study from CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com has determined how many high school students drink and drive in each state. Researchers then came up with a list of 15 states that contained the highest rates of such students and correlated it with each state's drunk driving fatality rate.

Arrests increase as crime rates fall

The violent crime rate in New York and around the country has fallen by about 50% since 1993, but a recent study from the RAND Corporation reveals that more Americans than ever are being arrested. Researchers from the California-based think tank looked at arrest and conviction data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and they discovered that young people today are about 3.6 times more likely to have a brush with the law than their parents or grandparents.

The PSID data also reveals that many young people are being taken into custody for behavior that would have warranted little more than a stern admonishment just a few years ago. More than a quarter of the young men and nearly a third of the women found themselves behind bars after committing minor misdemeanors, and underage drinking accounted for almost half of these arrests. This has led to a situation where 23% of the Americans born between 1979 and 1988 have a criminal record.

Preparing for surgery? Know the signs of post-procedure infection

When your doctor recommended surgery here in New York, you might have had a thousand thoughts running through your mind. How would you be able to take that much time off work? Who would watch the kids? Would your insurance cover most, if not all of the expenses? Would the procedure be a success? Are there serious personal injury risks involved?

These several of many common questions people have when they learn that a doctor believes surgery is the best option toward better health. It's important, of course, to get to know your surgeon ahead of time and have the opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about the procedure you will undergo. Your surgeon must inform you of any known risks involved.

Five tips for staying safe on the road

In 2018, an estimated 40,000 people died in auto accidents in New York and across the U.S., and 4.5 million were injured as well. Every seven seconds in this country, someone is being injured in a car crash. To reduce the risk for a crash, then, drivers will want to incorporate five tips into their driving.

Actually, it all begins before one even enters the car. Vehicle maintenance is essential and should be handled by a professional. If drivers neglect this and their car develops bad brakes or electrical issues, they will either cause a crash or be unable to avoid danger ahead. Second, drivers should know not to drink and drive. Every year, drunk driving claims the lives of some 10,000 people, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Distracted driving a concern for teen passengers

Distracted driving poses a real threat on New York roads. Texting, surfing the internet or even using vehicle entertainment system can take drivers' minds and eyes away from the wheel and the road. This kind of dangerous driving has been linked to a disturbing upswing in serious car accidents, especially those involving injuries or fatalities. Teens in particular may be vulnerable to distracted driving, a particular concern as many are inexperienced drivers who are less able to respond to emergency situations.

According to one study, around 60% of parents said that their children reported being in a car while the driver was distracted. Researchers said that many parents focus on telling their kids to avoid distracted driving themselves. However, it can be just as important a safety message to advise teens to stay alert while getting a ride with someone else, particularly friends. Many driver education programs focus on telling teens themselves to stay safe behind the wheel. However, over 30% of teens ride in cars with other teens at least one or two times a week.

Fetal distress: Did your New York doctor miss the signs?

You might say you and your obstetrician have a close working relationship during pregnancy. It's always best if expectant moms regularly attend their prenatal visits. Your doctor knows just what to do and say during those visits to check your progress and make sure your baby's safe and healthy.

There are certain signs of fetal distress that the average licensed obstetrician and prenatal medical team should recognize. What happens once such signs are noticed depends on the exact circumstances of a particular situation. Your doctor may simply want to closely monitor you and your baby, or he or she might order you to bed rest or even admit you to the hospital if an urgent problem arises.

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