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April 2018 Archives

Dog bite claims rise among homeowners

Dog owners in New York should be aware of the dangers that their pet can pose to themselves, their family and others. Dog bite claims made up one-third of all homeowner liability insurance claims in 2017, with an average pay-out of just above $37,000. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that every year in the U.S., there are approximately 4.5 million reports of dog bites. One out of every five dog bites result in emergency room visits.

Report identifies daydreaming as major road safety hazard

Road safety experts often blame New York distracted driving accidents on the popularity of cellphones and other mobile electronic equipment. However, a study released by Erie Insurance to coincide with Distracted Driving Awareness Month suggests that daydreaming may actually be an even greater hazard for road users. Researchers studied accidents in the United States that claimed 172,000 lives over the last five years, and they determined that 61 percent of the distracted driving crashes involved a motorist who was lost in thought.

Autonomous vehicle makers questioned over forced arbitration

Lawmakers including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have asked companies involved in the development of autonomous vehicle technology to clarify their positions on forced arbitration agreements. Questions have been asked about the safety of self-driving cars in the wake of an accident in Arizona involving an autonomous Uber SUV that claimed the life of a pedestrian. Media reports suggest that Uber's terms of service would prevent individuals injured in such a crash from pursuing civil lawsuits.

Reducing human influence could improve driverless cars

While a number of issues related to self-driving technologies are debated in New York and across the United States, many hope that autonomous vehicle technology could help to cut down on car accidents and make the roadways safer. However, autonomous vehicles do not have an accident-free record; because of the nature of self-driving cars, crashes involving these vehicles tend to receive widespread publicity. When looking at how to improve the safety of autonomous cars, one professor notes that human influence itself could be responsible for autonomous vehicle accidents.

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Orin J. Cohen Law
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