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Police pursuit leads to crash and DWI charges

Police in New York say that a 52-year-old Monroe County man was drunk when he attempted to flee from state troopers in the early morning hours of April 20. Reports indicate that troopers were joined by officers from the New York State Police during a pursuit that lasted for between 5 and 10 minutes. The man has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, unlawful fleeing, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment, and he faces a raft of motor vehicle infractions and violations.

According to police reports, the man attempted to flee when troopers signaled his vehicle to pull over in the vicinity of East Avenue and Chestnut Street at approximately 3:20 a.m. Troopers say that the vehicle was being driven erratically. Media accounts suggest that the pursuit came to an abrupt halt when the man deliberately rammed his vehicle into a marked police car outside the federal building on State Street.

Autonomous vehicles and human behavior

New York drivers who are concerned about the safety of autonomous vehicles may be interested to know that the programming the vehicles receive may make them unsafe. This is because the programs they are equipped with directs them to drive as humans would.

A computer science professor who conducts research on the designs of cyber-physical systems and who is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology states that autonomous vehicle industry players are employing humans to guide the driving of the autonomous vehicles. Because the vehicles are copying humans, who are prone to make mistakes, they are also copy their dangerous driving behaviors.

The elements of possession with intent to distribute

In New York, possession with the intent to distribute is a crime that combines possessing a controlled substance with the criminal intent to distribute that substance. Possession of a controlled substance on its own is a crime, but typically possession with intent to distribute is punished more harshly. Generally speaking, a prosecutor will look at the circumstances around a defendant's possession of a controlled substance to determine if that defendant intended to distribute the drugs. One of the most important factors is the amount of the drug.

The first element of possession with intent to distribute is that the individual charged must have knowingly possessed the illegal substance. "Knowingly" is the operative word. Willful ignorance of the nature of the subject is no defense, however.

Whiplash symptoms could take hours or days to emerge after crash

Even if people involved in a car accident in New York appear unhurt in the immediate moments after the impact, they might still have serious soft tissue injuries. Whiplash describes one of the most common forms of soft tissue injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents. The forces transferred into people's bodies during the collision of vehicles jolt their bodies. In the case of whiplash, the forward snap and backward recoil of the head stretches or tears ligaments, muscles or tendons in the neck.

Injuries to these types of tissues occur in other areas of the body as well. Physicians often have trouble diagnosing soft tissue injuries because the damage does not show up on an X-ray like a broken bone. Victims might not experience symptoms like pain and swelling for hours or even days after the car wreck.

NGA urges governors to improve road safety

New York drivers could be looking at enhanced traffic enforcement measures if recommendations from the National Governors Association are implemented. The NGA recently issued a report that analyzed road safety in the United States and made suggestions that could reduce traffic fatalities.

The report points out that there were 37,461 traffic-related deaths in 2016 on American roads. Additionally, there were 4.6 million personal injuries related to motor vehicle accidents. Incorporated into the association's report are recommendations from the Governors Highway Safety Association. These include expansion of proven strategies such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols during high-risk windows for impaired driving. The report also proposed stronger enforcement of seat belt statutes. While some states allow officers to initiate a traffic stop upon observing a seat belt violation, others require a moving violation to pull drivers over. Seat belt usage is one of the most important factors in limiting traffic injuries and deaths.

Study: Fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers

Everyone who drives in New York City is aware of the dangers posed to motorists and pedestrians by drunk drivers. Few are aware, however, that fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers -- and more plentiful.

According to a new AAA study, drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as alcohol-impaired drivers and cause even more motor vehicle crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.

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