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The Attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC provide effective, aggressive representation to individuals injured in the New York area. Our priority is to maximize the recovery of our clients injured due to the neglect of others.

A new law in the State of New York requires all car passengers, even those riding in the backseat, to wear a seatbelt. Before the law went into effect on November 1st, passengers over 16 years of age were not required to wear a seatbelt when they were sitting in the rear seat. With the new legislation, New York becomes the 31st state in the nation to require backseat passengers to buckle up. While the law exempts bus passengers as well as people riding in emergency vehicles like ambulances, it does not exempt passengers in taxis and other ride share vehicles.

New York’s Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has estimated that 30% of highway fatalities in the state involve passengers who aren’t wearing seatbelts. When Governor Cuomo signed the new legislation in August, State Senator David Carlucci said: “The injuries you can sustain from not wearing a seat belt can be deadly, and that’s a fact whether you sit in the front or the back of a vehicle. With this bill signed into law, we will help prevent tragedies and save lives in New York. Thank you to the advocates, including AAA for their strong support of this legislation.” Continue reading

A new study published online in JAMA Network Open finds that construction workers may be at high risk of Covid-19 infection. Conducted by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the Santa Fe Institute, the study asked whether construction work is associated with increased community transmission of Covid-19 as well as disproportionate fatalities in US construction workers. It examined hospitalization data in central Texas, finding that “construction workers had a nearly 5-fold increased risk of hospitalization in central Texas compared with other occupational categories.” Its authors conclude that this does not mean construction work must be halted, but that workplaces should take seriously the necessary safety measures and paid sick leave policies to protect vulnerable essential workers.

As the study notes in its introduction, early in the pandemic policymakers across the US differed in their views on the essentiality of construction work: “Boston, New York, and San Francisco severely restricted allowable projects. Other cities and states deemed commercial and home construction essential. Most of the nation’s 7.3 million construction workers remained employed throughout April and May of 2020, representing 4.5% of the labor workforce, ranging from 1.8% in the District of Columbia to 10.5% in Wyoming.” The authors note that because construction workers operate in close physical proximity to each other, construction sites have a higher than average risk of Covid-19 transmission. And because “Latinx populations are overly represented among construction and essential industries,” they have higher rates of exposure too, which are “compounded by prevalent high-risk comorbidities and lack of access to health care.” According to the authors, the combination of these risks is probably partly responsible for the higher rates of COVID-19 infection and fatality in Latinx communities.

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To keep children safe from vehicle accidents, cities need to develop more green space, build protected infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, keep speed limits low, close off some streets to cars entirely, and implement clean air initiatives. Thats the argument of a recent article in TheCityFix, a website covering urban issues in the US and around the world.

As many as 500 children die in car crashes each day, with magnitudes more suffering the long-term consequences of the trauma that results from nonfatal car accidents. TheCityFix argues that in order to become more “child-friendly, cities need to take bold, holistic public policy approaches that prioritize the needs of children. Continue reading

Scooters and other micromobility vehicles may be the future of urban transit, argues a new article in TheCityFix. The Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on mobility patterns are likely to increase the speed with which urban dwellers adopt new transportation modes, like scooters, e-bikes, mopeds, and traditional bicycles. Studies show that some cities have seen as much as 90% declines in public transit use, with people shifting to micromobility vehicles. This trend raises important questions, especially when it comes to safety issues.

Most cities do not have the necessary infrastructure to keep micromobility users safe, according to TheCityFix: due to the dominance of urban development that favors car riders, absent are structures like bicycle lanes separated from traffic, or “connected corridors where people can safely ride and scoot over long distances.” In the absence of such structures, the use of micromobility vehicles can put riders at risk of injury and death. Continue reading

Is it time to repeal jaywalking laws? A new column in Bloomberg CityLab argues it is, citing their alleged role in systemic racism. The column points out that in September, a Black man in San Clemente, California, was shot and killed during an altercation with police when he tried to cross a street. “Black and Brown people, especially men, are routinely targeted by police for jaywalking or simply existing in public space,” the authors write, noting that while some infractions result in fines, others result in violence or death.

The column’s authors, who are both “experts on pedestrian safety” in the US, go on to argue that the rise of pedestrian deaths over the last ten years demonstrates the ineffectiveness of jaywalking laws when it comes to public safety. Then they lay out nine reasons to get rid of them in the US. Continue reading

A recent study by the virtual insurance agent Insurify identified the ten car models associated with the most motor vehicle accidents. To arrive at its findings, Insurify looked at its database of “over 2.5 million car insurance applications.” When drivers apply for quotes via the website, according to its description, they enter information including their car’s model and whether they have been responsible for any motor vehicle accidents. Insurify’s researchers then compared “the number of car owners with a prior at-fault accident against the total number of drivers for each model to determine the proportion of drivers with an accident on record.”

Included in their data is each car’s safety ranking, as evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, another insurance industry group. The IIHS Specifically evaluates safety by examining a car’s crashworthiness, or “how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash,” and its crash avoidance and mitigation technology, which “can prevent a crash or lessen its severity.”

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A new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that the springtime transition to Daylight Savings Time may result in an increase in medical errors made by healthcare orders. The study was published in August 2020 by a group of authors including Branu Prakash Kolla of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Mayo Clinic; Brandon J. Coombes of the Division of Bioinformatics at the Mayo Clinic; Timothy I. Morgenthaler of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic; and Meghna P. Mansukhani of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the observational study’s objective was to examine “the change in reported patient safety-related incidents (SRIs), in the week following the transition into and out of DST over a period of 8 years.” It specifically observed incidents at “A US-based large healthcare organization” with locations in various states around the country. It measured “Voluntarily reported SRIs that occurred 7 days prior to and following the spring and fall time changes for years 2010–2017,” and separately identified incidents that were likely to have resulted from human error. Changes in SRI numbers “from the week before and after the time change (either spring or fall) were modeled using a negative binomial mixed model with a random effect to correct for non-independent observations in consecutive weeks.” Continue reading

A new study published in the scientific journal Current Biology finds that the spring transition to Daylight Savings Time may result in an increase in fatal car accidents in the US. The study’s authors include Josef Fritz, Kenneth P. Wright Jr., and Céline Vetter of the University of Colorado, and Trang VoPham of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The study, published in January 2020, found evidence that the springtime Daylight Savings Time shift “acutely increases motor vehicle accident (MVA) risk,” a phenomenon that “has been partly attributed to sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment.” Its summary, available via Current Biology, states that the shift one-hour forward results in darker mornings and brighter evenings, which change “illumination conditions for peak traffic density,” which may reduce MVA risk in accidents and evenings.

Another factor identified in the study is the changing sunrise and sunset depending on where you are geographically in your time zone. “The sun rises at an earlier clock time in the eastern regions of a given time zone than in the western regions, which is thought to induce higher levels of circadian misalignment in the west than in the east,” the study says. This phenomenon is known as “time zone effect.”

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A new car insurance industry analysis by virtual insurance agent Insurify reveals the industry’s systemic racism, according to an analysis by StreetsBlog. A close examination of pricing trends revealed that Black drivers with clean driving records receive higher prices than white drivers with spotty records, in addition to “other racist practices.”

The report states that “Cities and towns with majority Black residents experience among the  highest quote prices compared to cities of any other racial makeup, regardless of how clean their driving record is.” It describes “redlining,” a practice in which drivers in “majority-Black neighborhoods” pay nearly “20 percent more for car insurance on average than a driver living in a majority-White neighborhood” with violations on their record. Continue reading

A new analysis in TheCityFix looks at what cities in the United States can learn from Oslo, Norway’s effort to completely eliminate injuries and fatalities on its roads. According to that report, there were an average of 5-7 annual traffic fatalities in Oslo between 2010 and 2019, and  in 2015, the city embarked on an effort to reduce traffic and make the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Since the city began keeping digital records two decades ago, no children between 6 and 15 were included in traffic fatality records, and the risk of “fatal or serious road traffic injuries, on a trip-by-trip basis, has fallen 47% for cyclists, 41% for pedestrians and 32% for drivers between 2014 and 2018.” The analysis notes further that the number of fatal or serious traffic injuries per one million trips fell from 3.2 to 1.7 for cyclists, 0.7 to 0.4 per pedestrians, and 1.7 to 1.1 for car drivers or passengers. Last year, “no vulnerable road users died all year” in Oslo. One car driver suffered a fatality.

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