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Old-fashioned distractions still cause crashes

Distracted driving remains a major problem for drivers in New York and across the country. According to federal statistics, distractions cost at least 3,450 lives from 2016 auto accidents alone. With ever-increasing levels of technological integration and more drivers admitting to the use of cellphones behind the wheel, distracted driving is not a risk likely to be eliminated anytime soon. Most of the focus regarding distracted drivers is on technology, but motorists should be vigilant regarding more traditional distractions as well.

People tend to think that distracted driving made its appearance with the advent of mobile phones and GPS technology, but that idea is far from the truth. Roadside attractions, interesting billboards and a myriad of other factors have been taking eyes off the road since cars came into existence. With faster cars and more congestion, consequences of being distracted have increased. Some people think that the future proliferation of self-driving vehicles will eliminate the risk, but this also is not true.

New York City law aims to promote worker safety

In 2017, there were nearly 700 injuries related to construction accidents in New York City according to the Department of Buildings. Furthermore, there were 12 worker deaths in 645 accidents reported during that year throughout the city. Local Law 196 was signed into law in October 2017 and went into effect on March 1. It says that there needs to be a site safety plan as well as adequate worker safety training on job sites.

Workers are required to receive up to 55 hours of training with supervisors required to have up to 75 hours of training. After training has been completed, a safety card is issued that lasts for up to five years. Site owners or employers of workers who are not properly trained could be fined up to $5,000 per each untrained worker. If trained worker logs are not properly kept, it can result in additional fines of $2,500.

Self-driving cars learning unsafe habits from human drivers

Many New York drivers have safety concerns about sharing the roads with self-driving vehicles. Among the safety risks involved in programming driverless vehicles is the fact that self-driving cars are learning dangerous driving habits from the humans who program them.

An associate professor of computer science at Arizona State University shares these concerns. He believes that the teams developing driverless cars focus too heavily on creating an experience like that of a human-driven vehicle. To create such an experience, the development teams allow automated vehicles to learn to drive from human drivers. The professor claims that this also allows vehicles to learn unsafe driving habits.

3 essential tips for riding your bike in Brooklyn

Riding a bike in Brooklyn is not easy. With traffic and pedestrians everywhere, it can be intimidating to take your bicycle out for a spin. However, biking comes with many benefits. It is convenient, healthy and good for the planet. 

So, how can you use cycling as a safe method of urban transport? Here are some essential guidelines you should keep in mind as a Brooklyn bicyclist.

New tech could make construction sites safer

Statistically, 1 in 10 construction workers is injured every year in New York and across the U.S. The private construction industry saw 937 fatalities in 2015, which was a seven-year high in this country. It goes without saying that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous. Thankfully, advances in technology could improve the safety of construction sites if companies choose to invest in new equipment.

Backup accidents are all too common on construction sites because workers can become confused as to what direction the alarms are coming from, especially when the alarms emit the same beeping noise. This is where new reversing alarms come in. Brigade Electronic, for instance, has released the White Sound BBS-TEK reversing alarm that emits the sound of white noise, easily distinguished and heard through headphones or ear defenders.

Fatal crash leads to proposed legislation

If a proposed law passes, motorists in Brooklyn and throughout New York state could lose their driving privileges if they have an ailing impairment. Doctors would be required to report the impairment to the state, which could then move to have that person's license suspended. While doctors have the right to report such ailments to the DMV today, they have no obligation to do so.

The legislation was proposed after a woman who experiences seizures and heart issues caused an accident that killed two small children. Furthermore, lawmakers were looking to increase vehicle registration suspension penalties for multiple violations of regulations related to traffic control signals. The car that the woman who caused the crash had been driving had been cited 12 times since 2016. Under the newly proposed legislation, the woman's vehicle would have had its registration suspended for 90 days.

Time change could boost car accident risk

Drivers in New York may face increased danger on the road with the arrival of daylight savings time. When people "spring ahead" by setting their clocks an hour forward, they could be more prone to drowsy driving the next day, a study says. Since the clock moves forward one hour, it is possible for people to get less sleep than usual on the night of the change by going to bed and waking up at the same time as every other day.

People often refer to the spring time change as "losing an hour of sleep," but for drivers on the road, any kind of sleep deprivation could have dangerous results. Drowsy drivers could be easily distracted and even more likely to doze off behind the wheel, causing serious and even deadly motor vehicle accidents. While many individuals may expect that only one hour of sleep less on one night will not have an impact on their driving performance, even a small shift in sleep patterns can have a big impact, especially for people who drive at night on the day of the time change.

How car accidents can cause soft tissue injuries

People who suffer a soft tissue injury in a New York car accident might not realize the extent of the injury until hours or even days later. These types of injuries are not as easy to detect as broken bones, and it is only as soreness and inflammation set in that people may realize they have strained or sprained tendons, ligaments or muscles.

Since the impact of car accidents can cause these soft tissues to stretch, these types of injuries are not unusual. Besides pain, symptoms may include swelling and loss of function.

Can I sue for a construction injury if I was drunk on the job?

It is common knowledge that construction work is dangerous and has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries and fatalities. Workers' compensation claims and lawsuits are normal and encourage employers to do all they can to make the site as safe as possible for workers.

What happens, though, if a construction-site accident in New York is your fault? For example, what if you had been drinking earlier and then made a mistake that led to your injury? Can that fact become evidence against you so you are ineligible for compensation?

New technology to make construction work safer

Brooklyn construction sites often present hazards for passersby, but for workers, danger is part of the job every day. Construction work in the United States is safer now than it was in the past, but experts say more needs to be done to decrease accidents and fatalities for workers. Safety firms are now turning to technology to prevent accidents on job sites.

One of the most common safety measures at construction sites is the audible signal that sounds when a vehicle is backing up. The familiar sound of these reversing alarms has saved many lives, but recently there has been concern that when multiple vehicles sound their alarms at once, workers cannot tell where each sound is coming from. A new type of reversing alarm can solve that problem by using broadband frequencies to make it easier for a person to pinpoint the direction the sound is coming from. In addition, the signal makes a white noise sound that can be clearly heard, even if a worker is wearing noise protection equipment.

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