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What to Keep in Your Car in Case of an Accident

Whether you own a rust bucket with 200,000 miles on it or a shiny new car that is equipped with all of the latest technology, you take a gamble every time you drive in New York City. Auto accidents and other emergencies happen all of the time. You need to prepare for it.

The best way to prepare for an emergency is to properly stock it. Here, we suggest that you keep this short list of basic items in your car at all times:

  • Proof of insurance – Make sure that your insurance card is up-to-date and in force. If your policy has lapsed, the card is worth nothing. Create a way to remind yourself to check your glove box regularly to make sure that you carry a valid form of insurance.
  • Vehicle registration – The same goes for your registration. Make sure that any applicable tags or stickers are up-to-date and effective, or else you are in violation of New York law and subject to a ticket.
  • Camera – Yes, most people have cameras built into their phones now. But what if your phone is busted in an accident? What if the cell phone battery is dead? It doesn’t hurt to pick up a disposable camera and toss it in the glovebox. If you are in a crash, you will want to take lots of pictures at the scene.
  • Cell phone charger (or portable single-use charger) – While it’s obviously good to have a cell phone charger in your car, your car could be disabled in a crash. You could be sitting in your car for hours, waiting for police to arrive, complete their investigation and complete paperwork. You will want to stay connected. You can get a small one-time use portable charger for about $3 to $5 online.
  • Small notepad and pen/pencil – In case of an accident, you will want something you can use to jot down information. For instance, the police may give you information that you want to note, or you may need to write down a witness’s phone number and name.
  • Tire-changing kit – You don’t want to be on the road without a lug wrench, tire jack and spare tire in your vehicle. To change your tire, you will need to pull over to the side of the road. So, you should include flares in your tire-changing kit as well. (Check the expiration date and, generally, do not use a flare that is more than three years old.)
  • First aid kit – If anyone in your car suffers injuries in a crash or gets hurt while you change a tire or handle other mechanical issues, you will want a first aid kit on hand. At a minimum, the kit should have bandages, disinfectant, bottled water and aspirin.
  • Food, water and blankets – If your car breaks down, it may be a long time until a tow truck, family or friends arrive. You should have supplies to stay hydrated, nourished and warm as you wait for help.

Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You

If you are seriously hurt in a car accident anywhere in New York City, you should get immediate medical attention. You should also call an experienced NYC auto accident attorney who will work with you and seek compensation for your injuries. Don’t trust the insurance company to look out for your interests. Contact Zlotolow & Associates, P.C. Our team has fought to protect the rights of injured New Yorkers for more than two decades. We will put our talented attorneys and staff to work for you today.

Most Dangerous Intersections for Walkers and Bikers in Suffolk County

In 2017, a New York Times article hailed Sayville for its “walkable downtown.” This was not hyperbole. With its many shops and restaurants, the downtown area in Sayville is, in fact, a very safe place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Unfortunately, once you leave the downtown, the roads and intersections start to become dangerous for walkers and bikers in Sayville and surrounding communities in Suffolk County. Pedestrian accidents and bike crashes happen all too frequently in these areas and carry devastating consequences for the victims and their families.

Report Identifies Dangerous Roads and Intersections on Long Island

Last year, the non-profit Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) released a report on crashes that involved walkers and bikers on Long Island between 2014 and 2016. The TSTC found that motor vehicle drivers hit 6,270 people who were on foot or bike over that three-year period, including 2,588 people in Suffolk County alone.

Sunrise Highway, or State Route 27, ranked among the five roads in Suffolk County with the highest total number of crashes that involved pedestrians and bikers. The roadway, which lies along the northern border of Sayville, accounted for 94 crashes over the three-year span, or an average of about 31 per year. The other four roads with the highest number of pedestrian-car and bike-car collisions were:



Jericho Turnpike (State Route 25)


New York Avenue (SR-110)


North Country Road (SR-25A)


Montauk Highway



What these roads have in common is that transportation officials designed them to move motor vehicles along at the fastest rate possible. They did not design them with pedestrians and bikers in mind.

Surprisingly, Sunrise Highway was not one of the roads that TSTC listed among the most dangerous intersections in Suffolk County. The 10 intersections that TSTC identified were:


City Crashes

Broadway and Oak Street

Amityville 9

Carleton Avenue and East Suffolk Avenue

Central Islip


New York Avenue and 15th Street/West Hills Road

Huntington Station


Suffolk Avenue and Brentwood Road



Suffolk Avenue and Wick Road



New York Avenue and Depot Road

Huntington Station


William Floyd Parkway and Surrey Circle



Montauk Highway and Saxon Avenue



New York Avenue and West 16th Street Huntington Station


Union Boulevard and 4th Avenue Islip


Did a Negligent Driver Hit You? Our Law Firm Can Help

As our personal injury lawyers have seen over the years, many of these crashes aren’t simply due to poor road design. They result from the careless and reckless decisions and actions of drivers. For instance, many drivers cause collisions because they are distracted by texting or talking on their phones, or because they are simply going too fast and cannot stop on time to avoid hitting a walker or biker that they see in a crosswalk or on the side of the road.

If a negligent driver struck you or a loved on in Sayville or elsewhere on Long Island, you need to protect your right to recover just compensation for your losses. Contact Zlotolow & Associates today and let us get started on your case with a free consultation.

What You Should Do If You Witness an Accident

People in New York City see car accidents all of the time. However, have you ever wondered what you would do if you saw a crash happen? Your eyewitness account of the accident could end up playing an important role for the driver or passengers who suffer injuries. So, you should understand some of the steps you can take.

Here, our experienced car accident lawyers provide answers to some of the questions you may have about being a witness to a car accident:

Do I have a legal responsibility if I witness an accident?

“No” is the short answer. If you witness a car accident, you are just that – a witness. You did not cause the wreck. So, you are not responsible for what happened or what happens after.  While we all hope someone would stop for us, other people simply are not legally required to stop and assist.

Should I stay at the scene if I witness an accident?

Just as you have no obligation to stop, you also have no obligation to stay if you do stop. Your choice to stop and assist is completely voluntary. Still, you may feel that it is the right thing to do. If you do stop, here are some points to remember:

  • Do not just stop anywhere. Find a safe place to pull over that does not block other traffic.
  • Once you pull over, call 911 and report the accident. Don’t assume that someone else has done it already.
  • Check to see if everyone is OK. Be careful approaching vehicles and watch out for “rubberneckers” and distracted drivers.
  • Do not try to render first aid unless you are trained to do so.
  • Ask what happened and be ready to explain what you saw and heard to the police.

Will I have to testify?

Most car accident cases do not go to trial. Still, it is always possible that someone who is badly injured in a car accident may have to pursue justice through the court system. If you provide your contact information to the police, and if you are willing to be a witness, you could be called to testify at a trial. Note: Testifying will not create any liability on your part.

If you receive a subpoena to testify, you will have a legal obligation to show up and give your testimony at the scheduled time and place. You should speak with the injured party’s lawyer to learn more about what you can expect if you testify.

Get Help for Your New York City Car Accident Case

If you are injured in a car accident anywhere in NYC, including The Bronx and Brooklyn, you will need experienced, local representation from attorneys who understand car accidents and what it takes to fight for compensation, including contact eyewitnesses on your behalf.

Don’t trust your case to the insurance company. Instead, contact Zlotolow & Associates, P.C., to schedule your free and confidential consultation and discuss the facts of your case. Never sign anything that the insurance company gives you and never give a statement without first talking to an attorney.

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