Monthly Archives: February 2018

6 Most Dangerous Roads in the Hudson Valley Region

Sometimes, the very qualities that makes our region desirable can also make it dangerous. The green and leafy communities north of New York City in the Hudson Valley region draw many people in to live and work. But the increase in traffic can cause dangerous driving conditions, congestion and accidents.

The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) reviews vehicle crashes across the state by looking at data every tenth of a mile and focusing on every area whose accident rate is higher than expected. This data is usually reviewed internally, with the goal of changing the infrastructure to make dangerous areas safer.

Here are 6 of the most dangerous roads in the Hudson Valley region.

#1: Interstate 684 in Putnam County

This was the most dangerous road in the state, according to a 2015 article in The News Journal of lower Hudson River Valley. In one area, state authorities think that the ramp leading to I-84 is causing traffic congestion and, as a result, long waits. To compensate, drivers will try to cut into traffic. Vehicle crashes are the all-too-predictable result.

Over a two-year period, the stretch registered 140 accidents. DOT authorities note that state roads with an analogous volume, 61,000 vehicles daily, have just 20% of that number of collisions on average.

#2: Route 45, Spring Valley near Route 59

In a two-year period, this area, just over 2 miles in length, saw 476 accidents that resulted in 107 injuries. One was fatal. The police said driver inattention and following too closely were the most common causes of the accidents.

#3: Route 202 in Haverstraw, intersecting with Palisades Interstate Parkway and Route 45

In 2014, DOT indicated that this stretch was in the top 20 most dangerous areas in New York State. The number of vehicle crashes were 10 times the number with analogous characteristics. A road-widening project undertaken to fix the danger seems, up to this date, to have made it worse.

#4: Route 59 at Airmont Road in Airmont

In one year, this intersection was the site of 85 accidents, 21 of them causing injuries.

#5: Route 59 at Requa Lane in Monsey

In one year, this intersection was the site of 39 vehicles crashes. Twelve of them caused injury. The most frequent causes, according to police reports, were lack of driver attention and failure to yield.

#6: Cross County Parkway, Yonkers

In one year, this area registered 88 accidents. Thirty-one of them caused injuries. The reasons, said policy, were unsafe speed and following too closely.

When You Need a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, please contact our law firm to discuss your case.

Our NY car accident attorneys have years of experience successfully litigating cases involving vehicle accidents in NY. Call us at (800) 711-5258 or fill out the form on our website. We will be happy to meet you at our Rockland County, New York or Bergen County, New Jersey offices. The consultation is complimentary, and there is never any obligation.

More Information on Dangerous Roads in the Hudson Valley:

  1. Nguyen, Hoa. “Looking at Lohud’s most crash-prone roads.” The Journal News. July 4, 2015. https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2015/07/04/dangerous-roads/29668045/
  2. Spector, Joseph. “The most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the Hudson Valley.” The Journal News. March 5, 2015. https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2015/03/05/the-most-dangerous-roads-for-pedestrians-in-the-hudson-valley/24428367/
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3 Surprising Marriage and Divorce Trends

In everyday conversation, probably one of the most often-cited relationship statistics is that half of all marriages end in divorce. Not only is this statistic outdated, it falls far short of capturing the current picture of marriage in the United States. Changing demographics and cultural norms are both causing a shift in the way people approach marriage. Here are some surprising facts shown by recent statistics and studies.

Marriage rates are declining – and so are divorces

Marriage rates are at an all-time low, at least according to data going back to 1870. Marriage and divorce rates have historically been affected by current events, so for example, marriage numbers rose just before World War I and World War II, as people rushed to tie the knot before deployment. In turn, divorce numbers rose at the end of the wars when more couples were able to live together. However, the marriage and divorce rates have been steadily declining since about 1980, as more adults choose cohabitation or to live apart singly, with 2010 data showing 6.8 marriages and 2.8 divorces per 1,000 people in the U.S.

More adults live alone

According to research from 2015, 42% of adults live alone without a spouse or partner. While the marriage rate is declining and cohabitation rate is increasing, the cohabitation numbers do not offset the drop in marriages. This leaves more adults living alone. Adults across all ages are increasingly opting for single living, but the numbers are highest among younger adults. More than 60% of adults under age 35 now live singly.

Baby boomer divorce is on the rise

While divorce rates are falling among younger Americans, those age 50 and over are getting divorced at increasing rates. Sine 1990, the divorce rate for adults over 50 has doubled, while the rate for those age 65 and over has tripled. This only captures the trend, not the overall picture; younger people are still far more likely to get divorced than seniors. Some analysts believe the rise in “gray divorce” may be related to the numbers of Baby Boomers who have already been through a first divorce and are therefore involved in statistically less stable subsequent marriages.

Speak with a family lawyer if you are facing a divorce

Marriage, divorce, and even cohabitation affect the legal rights of the parties involved, and when there are children involved, they may continue to do so for years. If you may be heading into a divorce or separation, call a NY & NJ divorce lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman.

It is important to understand both your rights and your responsibilities when taking on a major restructuring of your family. Our attorneys are here to help, with offices in Rockland County and Bergen County. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Additional Marriage and Divorce Resources:

  1. Washington Post, 144 years of marriage and divorce in the United States, in one chart, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/23/144-years-of-marriage-and-divorce-in-the-united-states-in-one-chart/?utm_term=.6e15145707f4
  2. Pew Research Center, The share of Americans living without a partner has increased, especially among young adults, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/11/the-share-of-americans-living-without-a-partner-has-increased-especially-among-young-adults/
  3. Pew Research Center, Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America’s 50+ population, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/09/led-by-baby-boomers-divorce-rates-climb-for-americas-50-population/
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Best Motorcycle Day Trips in New Jersey

motorbike driving in the weekendNew Jersey is a great state for motorcycle day trips. Once away from the main highways, the natural beauty of the state can reveal itself. Here are three of our favorites for weekend get-aways.

The D&R Canal, Central New Jersey

The Delaware and Raritan Canal in central New Jersey runs for a long portion beside the canal, which is cool and green and shady on summer days. The D&R Canal was built to connect the Raritan and Delaware Rivers in the earlier part of the nineteenth century. Now, it’s a favorite destination for hikers and bikers.

Do be aware that this runs part of the way on narrow rides, so use caution and yield the right-of-way.

Take State Road 623 (Canal Road) in South Bound Brook to Weston Canal Road. Make a right onto Weston Canal Road. This continues along the canal.

After this, the road will turn sharply to the right and leave the canal. Stay on the road to the next right, which is Metlars Road. Make a right onto Metlers and follow Metlers to Amwell Road. Make a right onto  Amwell Road. Follow it just a bit until you see the firehouse on the right.

Make a left turn across from the firehouse onto Market Street. Take Market Street to the end and make a right turn on Canal Road. Then you’re on the home stretch. Follow Canal Road to Griggstown and make a right onto State Road 632.

Take 632 over the river and make a right onto River Road. Follow River Road to Amwell Road and make a right onto Amwell Road. Take Amwell Road to Elizabeth Avenue and make a left turn onto Elizabeth AVenue. Follow it to the end. You will have reached the same point you started at in South Bound Brook.

Skyline Drive, Northern New Jersey

Skyline Drive is a beautifully scenic wooded mountain road. From 287 Skyline Drive in Oakland to 8 Germantown Road in West Milford is a 22-mile loop through the green heart of it. Twists and turns, but very safe.

Lambertville/New Hope, PA

Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA are sister cities across the Delaware River from each other. New Hope has been an artistic get-away for decades; Lambertville has been one for about 15 years. Both have plenty to do in terms of galleries and music and are at the end of a scenic ride as well.

One route from norther New Jersey is Route 278 from Oakland. After crossing I-78, take U.S. Route 202 south to New Jersey State Route 12 and County Route 523. Route 523 is very scenic and will lead you to State Route 29, which will lead you straight to Lambertville. From Lambertville, you can cross the road into New Hope.

If You Need a NJ Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Please ride safely on your trips through New Jersey. Sometimes, despite all the best precautions, accidents happen. If you believe your crash or collision was the result of another party’s negligence, or if you have any questions about your legal rights in the wake of an accident, please call Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, or fill out the form on our website. We have years of experience successfully litigating motorcycle accident cases in New Jersey and fighting for the rights of the injured.

We will be happy to meet you at our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. The consultation is complimentary, and you owe us nothing unless we win money for you. Speak with an experienced NJ motorcycle accident attorney today and see how much your case might be worth.

Additional Resources on the Best New Jersey Motorcycle Routes:

  1. Dahse, Kenneth W. A Kool Kruise to a Hip Town: New Hope, Pennsylvania. January 15, 2017. Rider Magazine. http://ridermagazine.com/2017/01/15/a-kool-kruise-to-a-hip-town-new-hope-pennsylvania/
  2. New Jersey Motorcycle Events. http://www.njmce.com/rides.html
  3. Nice New Jersey Motorcycle Rides. Scenic Roads for Motorcycle Riders. http://www.rider.com/motorcycle_rides/maps/maps-newjersey.html
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5 Ways Trucks Put Other Vehicles at Risk

White truck on the asphalt rural road in the polar nightThe great majority of professional truck drivers cover tens of thousands of highway miles every year without incident. The large trucks they drive are also safer and more heavily regulated than other vehicles on the road. Nonetheless, collisions between large trucks and other vehicles inevitably result in substantially more damage, injuries and fatalities to the other vehicles and their occupants than to the truck and its driver.

The Physics and Risks of Truck Driving

The physical disparity between a large truck and a car enhances the driving risks faced by the smaller vehicle. The truck accident lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman see at least five ways that this disparity and other factors expose vehicle occupants to greater risks on the roadway.

  1. Trucks weigh up to twenty times more than cars. On U.S. roadways, a fully-loaded semi tractor-trailer truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In contrast, an average passenger vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds. The larger, heavier vehicle has more energy and momentum that can harm a vehicle occupant in even the most safely-designed car.
  2. Trucks need twice as much room to stop. A car traveling at 65 miles per hour needs about 300 feet to come to a full stop. A fully-loaded truck traveling at the same speed can need up to 600 feet. Rain and other inclement weather conditions can increase that stopping distance. Both trucks and vehicles need to account for these distances in heavy traffic.
  3. Trucks have large blind spots. Even with backup cameras and large mirrors, trucks still have significant blind spots, both on their driver and passenger sides. Truck and vehicle drivers need to exercise extra vigilance to remain aware of those blind spots and the potential vehicle traffic in them.
  4. Extended work hours can cause truck driver fatigue. Trucking companies occasionally push their operators to drive longer hours and with fewer rest stops, which can lead to driver fatigue. All workers experience fatigue in their jobs at different times of the day. Where that job requires the operation of an 80,000-pound vehicle, fatigue enhances vehicle risks.
  5. Trucks are complex mechanical structures that require extra maintenance. Improper or inadequate truck maintenance can cause tire blowouts and other mechanical problems that further expand the roadway risks for other vehicles.

Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at KGG

The trucking industry provides valuable commercial services, and trucks are a critical component in that industry. This does not excuse the trucking industry from taking all reasonable and necessary steps to reduce risks and operate their trucks in the safest manner on roadways that they share with other vehicles.

If you are in an accident with a large truck in Bergen County or Rockland County, or elsewhere in New York or New Jersey, and you have suffered property damage or significant injuries in that accident, please contact the NY & NJ truck accident lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman for a complimentary analysis of your case.

Some roadway risks are unavoidable, but if the risks that led to your accident could have been eliminated, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries. We will fight to recover the compensation you deserve, and you will pay nothing unless we recover damages for you. 

Additional “Truck Driving Risks” Resources:

  1. FMCSA.dot.gov: The Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
  2. IIHS.org: Large Trucks. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks
  3. TheTruckersReport.com: Truck Blind Spots: Know the Danger Zones. https://www.thetruckersreport.com/truck-blind-spots-know-the-danger-zones/
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New Federal Tax Law Will Reshape Alimony in NY and NJ

According to the current federal law, alimony payments – also known as spousal support – are tax deductible for the spouse making the payments. The newly-approved tax bill, however, shifts the tax benefit from the paying spouse to the receiving spouse. This will have a significant effect on divorce proceedings.

About the new 2017 tax law

On December 22, 2017, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Act is the most significant change to the federal tax law in three decades.  It promises to simplify the tax code, primarily by:

  • Lowering individual and corporate tax rates
  • Eliminating multiple tax credits and deductions
  • Increasing the child tax credit, and
  • Repealing the health care individual mandate penalty

For divorcing couples, the most important change affects the deductibility of alimony paid to a former spouse.

Who is affected by change in alimony deductions

Under the current law, an ex-spouse may deduct the amount paid in spousal support while the recipient pays taxes on it. It is common for the spouse paying alimony to be in a higher income bracket than the receiving spouse, so the taxes saved under this situation can often encourage the parties to negotiate more generous support agreements. Under the new tax plan, the balance shifts, so the payer will no longer be allowed to deduct the amount paid, and the receiving spouse will receive the payments tax-free.

The tax change will affect anyone who signs a separation agreement, or whose divorce is granted, after December 31, 2018. For anyone currently facing or anticipating to soon face a divorce, this is an important date to keep in mind. Separations or divorces finalized before December 31 will continue to be tax-deductible by the payer.

Effect of tax change on divorce in NY and NJ

The tax change will affect tens of thousands of New York and New Jersey residents who are undoubtedly already going through a stressful life change. In addition to removing the incentive for higher tax bracket spouses to agree to a more generous support agreement, it will necessitate a new approach for judges who make alimony awards, and lawyers who negotiate divorce and separation settlements.

Judges in New York and New Jersey make use of guidelines or calculators when deciding whether and how much alimony to award. New Jersey judges primarily consider a number of factors, such as:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Need and ability of each spouse
  • Relative earning capacities
  • Parenting needs of any children
  • Other factors deemed relevant by the court

New York judges begin with a calculator and then make adjustments based on the circumstances of the individuals. The significant amount of additional taxes that many ex-spouses will incur because of the legislation will call for reconsideration of the current approach.

Speak with our matrimonial lawyers if you are facing a divorce

The recent tax changes undoubtedly raise some questions, fears, and need for wise counsel. If you are facing a divorce or separation, call a NY & NJ divorce attorney from Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Given the potential long-term effects of a short-sighted separation agreement or divorce award, it is important to be prepared. We have offices in Rockland County and Bergen County to meet you where and when you need us. Call today to schedule a consultation.

 Additional Tax Law & Alimony Resources:  

  1. USA Today, Exes and taxes: How the tax overhaul would alter alimony, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/taxes/2017/12/24/exes-and-taxes-how-tax-overhaul-would-alter-alimony/976413001/
  2. CBS News, 4 popular deductions the GOP tax plan would end, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/4-popular-deductions-the-gop-tax-plan-would-end/
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