New York Roads Among the Safest in the U.S.

New York has some of the lowest traffic fatalities per person in the nation. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Despite the reputation of New York drivers, a recent study found that the Empire State has some of the safest roads in the nation. The Auto Insurance Center (AIC) conducted a thorough breakdown of the deadliest driving conditions from 2005 to 2015. The data was culled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fatal accident reporting system and examined the various causes of deadly crashes, including reckless driving, road rage, drunk driving, speeding, and even weather.

The data only included accidents that resulted in fatalities; the total number of accidents and citations for dangerous traffic violations was not factored into the ranking.

When looking at fatalities resulting from reckless and careless driving, New York was the second-safest state, after Virginia. New York also ranked No. 2 (below Massachusetts) for least amount of drunk driving fatalities, and No. 4 for the fewest speeding and racing-related fatalities.

This isn’t the first time New York has received high marks for its drivers. Last year, the state was ranked fourth for least number of teens arrested for DWI by WalletHub. The same study recognized New York for having some the most comprehensive driving laws in the U.S. Those laws are especially important considering the state is also recognized for having some of the angriest drivers, with New Yorkers being 30% more likely to commit acts of road rage than those in other parts of the country.

Any driving behavior that puts other drivers or pedestrians at risk can be considered reckless driving. Reckless driving is a crime and a conviction could mean spending up to 30 days in jail, plus paying nearly $400 in fines and incurring 5 points on your license. This is in addition to the fines and points from any other charges leveled against you.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding, or any other traffic related offense in New York, contact an attorney right away to protect your rights and minimize the consequences. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced traffic attorneys who are experienced in fighting reckless driving and many other traffic offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

When Does Drunk Driving Become Reckless Driving?

Many times, drivers charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI/DWI) are also charged with reckless driving. Driving drunk may be reckless behavior, but at what point is it legally considered reckless driving?

By definition, reckless driving is anything that endangers the welfare of other drivers or pedestrians. Technically, the charge could apply to pretty much any kind of traffic violation, including texting while driving, speeding, or even running a red light, yet each of those violations alone rarely results in a reckless driving charge.

Law enforcement officials tend to reserve reckless driving for instances where multiple dangerous behaviors occur – e.g. a driver who is speeding while texting and driving, and possibly failing to yield. Likewise, a drunk driver who is ignoring traffic signals and making multiple unsafe lane changes is more likely to get charged with reckless driving.

Reckless driving charges are also likely when the driver does something truly extreme, such as making a sudden illegal U-turn on a busy multi-lane road or weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. A drunk driver who endangers pedestrians, for example, by driving through a parking lot or hopping the curb, might also get hit with a reckless driving charge.

Reckless driving is a crime and a conviction could result in up to 30 days in jail, plus nearly $400 in fines and 5 points on your license. It also results in a permanent criminal record, which could affect employment opportunities and have a lasting impact on the rest of your life.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, drunk driving, or any other traffic related offense in New York, contact an attorney right away to avoid the most serious consequences. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic attorneys who are adept at fighting reckless driving charges and many other traffic offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Do Holiday Shoppers Increase the Risk of a Reckless Driving Charge?

Accidents involving pedestrians spike during the holidays in NYC. Photo courtesy Javier Gutierrez Acedo via Flickr.

December is a harrowing time to drive in New York City. The flood of holiday shoppers clogging the crosswalks, the increase in vehicle traffic, the decrease in daylight, and the onset of winter conditions is a recipe for accidents. A recent report in Crain’s found that pedestrian injuries and deaths tend to spike this time of year. The article noted that between 2013 and 2015, “the total number of pedestrian injuries in November and December were 55.6% greater than in September and October.”

Accidents involving pedestrians can result in a reckless driving charge. In order to be charged with reckless driving, a driver must demonstrate some kind of blatant disregard for the safety of those around them. However, not every instance of a vehicle striking a pedestrian is the result of blatant disregard, and thus may not necessarily result in a charge. An officer is more likely to deem a driver to be reckless if he or she has committed multiple traffic violations – such as speeding and driving the wrong way down a one-way lane – prior to the accident.

In addition to the reckless driving charge, a driver who strikes a pedestrian in NYC may also face a charge under the city’s Right of Way Law. This law was established as part of NYC’s Vision Zero initiative in 2014, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities. The Right of Way Law (also known as Section 19-190) assumes by default that a  driver who hits a pedestrian or cyclist was negligent. It is up to the driver to prove otherwise in court, which may require the aid of legal counsel.

A driver who hurts or kills a pedestrian in New York City can face both a reckless driving charge as well as charges under Vision Zero’s Right of Way Law. Both crimes are misdemeanors and a conviction means you will face up to 30 days in prison per charge and have a permanent criminal record. In addition, each can result in hundreds of dollars in fines and huge increases in your auto insurance premiums.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, violating the Right of Way Law, or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is urgent that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic attorneys who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Can You Get Charged with Reckless Driving for Speeding in the Snow?

Speeding in wintry weather increases the likelihood of getting hit with a reckless driving charge.

Speeding in wintry weather increases the likelihood of getting hit with a reckless driving charge.

Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn’t mean you have to sit inside and let it snow. If you’ve got someplace to go and have to drive in wintry weather, it’s important to reduce your speed. Driving too fast in the snow or on icy roads can be a hazard to yourself and to others around you. In fact, it could be construed as reckless driving.

Reckless driving is defined as “the failure to exercise reasonable care, reasonable caution, or the reasonable foresight of a reasonably prudent and careful person.” The law is not very specific as to what constitutes unreasonable driving behavior. In most instances, a reckless driving charge is issued when a driver behaves in a way that endangers others. Some examples include going the wrong way on a highway, driving on the sidewalk, or riding the centerline between oncoming and going traffic. Essentially, any type of driving that has a high risk of causing an accident can result in a reckless driving charge.

When the winter weather hits, there are many types of driving that can lead to a car crash and just the simple act of exceeding the speed limit can be very dangerous. Even in the snow, however, speed alone rarely results in a reckless driving charge. A citation is more likely to be issued when a combination of unsafe driving behaviors occur.

Reckless driving is not just a traffic violation; it’s a crime. A conviction could mean spending up to 30 days in jail, plus paying nearly $400 in fines and incurring 5 points on your license. This is in addition to the fines and points from any other charges leveled against you, such as speeding, unsafe lane change, or any other behavior that led to the reckless driving charge.

So if the weather outside is frightful and the fire inside is delightful, but you’ve got some other place to go, just take it slow, take it slow, take it slow.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, speeding, or any other traffic related offense in New York, contact an attorney right away to protect your rights and minimize the consequences. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal and traffic attorneys who are experienced in fighting reckless driving and many other traffic offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Reasonable Advice for Black Friday Shoppers

It's only a good deal if you don't get arrested.

It’s only a good deal if you don’t get arrested.

Black Friday’s doorbuster deal on the Super Squirrely Robo-Megatron Princess Castle may be your only chance at getting one at a decent price for your kid this year. The rush and panic you might feel as you zip into the parking lot at 5am is certainly understandable, but remember to be careful! Drivers who are careless when navigating crowded parking lots can be charged with reckless driving.

Most people think of reckless driving as endangering others while driving on a public highway. While this is true, reckless driving can apply in a mall parking lot as well. New York State law defines reckless driving as “the failure to exercise reasonable care, reasonable caution, or the reasonable foresight of a reasonably prudent and careful person.”

Sounds reasonable enough.

There’s no hard and fast rule about what qualifies as reckless driving. Behaviors that could lead to the charge include weaving in and out of lanes, disobeying traffic signs, and failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Reckless driving is also situation dependent and while a speed of 65mph may be acceptable on a highway, going that fast in a parking lot crowded with Black Friday shoppers can be considered reckless driving.

One of these violations alone will not necessarily result in a reckless driving charge, but a combination of them could warrant a ticket. The likelihood of a citation goes up if there are multiple traffic violations or if someone gets hurt.

Reckless driving is more than a traffic violation; it is a crime. A conviction could mean up to 30 days in jail, plus nearly $400 in fines and 5 points on your license. The charge will also impact your insurance premiums, causing an increase of up to 42% in some cases. At that price, you’re better off skipping the doorbuster deal and buying the Super Squirrely Robo-Megatron Princess Castle from eBay.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic attorneys who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Drunk Driver Crashes in NJ After Fleeing Accident in NY

Port Authority police arrested a Washington resident in Hoboken, NJ on Monday, Sept. 12. Keith A. Cook, 34, of Seattle, WA allegedly fled the scene of a DWI crash in New York only to immediately get into another accident in New Jersey. He is being charged with reckless driving, DWI, eluding, obstruction, and multiple traffic summonses.

Officers responded to the scene of an accident near the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan around 1 a.m. One of the drivers involved in the crash said that another driver, later identified as Cook, fled the accident.

Port Authority officers located Cook and attempted to pull him over, but Cook ignored the officer’s commands and drove away into the tunnel. A Port Authority officer on the Jersey City side of the tunnel also tried to stop Cook, but the suspect sped away again.

However, only five minutes after fleeing authorities, Cook crashed again, this time into a storefront in Hoboken. Officers arrested him at the scene.

A reckless driving conviction is far more serious than most moving violations. It is a misdemeanor that will result in a permanent criminal record. A conviction can also carry more than $300 in fines and up to 30 days in prison for a first offense.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, reckless driving, or for any other criminal offense in New York or New Jersey, contact an attorney for help. The criminal defense attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm have many years of experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.

Driver That Killed 6 on LIE May Have Been Going 100mph

Police are investigating the role that speed played in a crash that killed six people on Sunday, August 21. Evidence from the crash scene suggests that the car that lost control may have been traveling as fast as 100mph.

Police say 26-year-old Carmelo Pinales of Hicksville was heading east on the LIE when he lost control of his Subaru Outback. The vehicle crossed the median and went airborne, crashing into a BMW and a Honda in the westbound lanes.

Pinales and his 27-year-old sister, Patricia Pinales, were pronounced dead on the scene. Pinales’ 10-year-old son, Christopher, was taken to the hospital where he died soon after. Patricia’s 3-year-old daughter, Analia Ramirez, and one other adult passenger were also injured.

The driver of the BMW, Helen Adelson, 71, and her husband, 81-year-old Isidore Adelson, were taken to a hospital, where they both succumbed to their injuries. The crash also took the life of the driver of the Honda, 29-year-old Scott Martella, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the communications director for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. His fiancé, 29-year-old Shelbi Thurau, was injured.

A snapchat video taken by Patricia 15 minutes before the crash shows that Pinales was not driving recklessly, according to family members. They say the rain as well as roadwork are more likely to blame.

Police disagree and are still investigating. Emergency responders said the temporary construction bumps may have contributed to Pinales losing control.

If you or a loved one has caused an accident in which reckless driving or speeding is a factor, it is advisable that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the consequences. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced in handling reckless driving charges, speeding tickets, and many other driving-related offenses in New York. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

Reckless Driver That Killed Elderly Couple Arrested

A Morrisonville, NY man has been arrested for reckless driving and second-degree reckless endangerment, among other charges. The charges stem from an accident in January that killed an elderly couple.

Jesse A. Baker of Morrisonville was driving on State Route 190 in Altona on Jan 8, 2016 when he attempted to pass another vehicle. His 2013 Chevrolet box truck struck a 2016 Subaru Forester head-on. Baker was injured in the wreck and the accident killed the driver of the other vehicle, 74-year-old Audrey Lohse, and her husband Richard, 77. The couple had homes in Burke, NY and in New Jersey.

An extensive investigation by the Clinton County DA’s office found that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the wreck. Baker was arrested on July 19 and charged with the misdemeanor crimes of second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving, as well as failure to keep right on a two-lane road, unsafe passing on the left, and imprudent speed.

A reckless driving charge can carry serious consequences, including up to 30 days in jail and a $400 fine for a first offence, as well as 5 points on your licence. Drivers who are convicted of reckless driving will end up with a permanent criminal record and will likely see their insurance rates skyrocket.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Driver Drags Cop While Trying to Escape Traffic Stop

police in rear view mirrorA Cobleskill, NY man as been arrested after dragging a police officer while trying to flee from a traffic stop on Monday, July 18. The officer was not injured.

Police say Officer Steve Winegard stopped Brice Cummings, 21, for driving without his headlights on. Cummings refused to give his personal information to the officer, who then attempted to demonstrate that the headlights were not in use. It was at that point, police say, that Cummings attempted to escape. Winegard tried to stop him, but Cummings drove off with the officer clinging to the window. Winegard was dragged about 40 yards before falling to the ground.

Other officers were able to stop Cummings after he lost control of his vehicle and struck a wall. Police charged Cummings with reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, two counts of speeding, and numerous other violations.

A charge of reckless driving or other misdemeanor traffic offense can carry serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been arrested for such charges, you need the help of a skilled attorney. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Manslaughter Indictment for Man Who Killed Pedestrian

3293465641_b6c5081e87_zA grand jury at Brooklyn Criminal Court voted to charge Marlon Sewell, 39, with second-degree manslaughter on June 27. Sewell had been driving without a license on December 6, 2015, when he jumped the sidewalk and killed 31-year-old Victoria Nicodemus and injured two others.

Sewell was driving with a suspended license at the time. He told police that he had swerved to avoid an oncoming car and then swerved again to avoid a bus, jumping the curb and hitting three pedestrians. He also claimed a carbon monoxide leak in his car had made him lightheaded. Police say he was driving the 25-mph limit at the time.

Police originally charged Sewell with driving without a license or insurance, a misdemeanor charge, but prosecutors repeatedly put off his trial so they could continue their investigation. In January a judge rejected a request to cancel Sewell’s license, saying he had not been driving recklessly.

Sewell’s license had been revoked at the time for failure to pay child support, rather than for driving-related infractions. However, prosecutors allege he had a checkered driving history, including an arrest in March 2015 for driving without a license and multiple instances of speeding through school zones.

According to Gothamist, Nicodemus’s family is pushing for new legislation that would make it a felony to injure or kill someone while driving with a suspended or revoked license. The state senate passed such a bill in May, but it is still awaiting a vote in the assembly.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other serious traffic-related offense in New York, you may need a skilled attorney to help fight the consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.