Carol Wood has been hit by cars while riding her bike.
“When it happens, you really don’t know what to do. There simply is no information out there from the City,” the Midtown resident told Runnin’ Scared.
So Wood, who just got a master’s degree in journalism, decided to write her thesis on car accidents — and develop a website with non-commercial info for victims.
That project, NycCarAccident.net, launched this morning.
The portal — which has been vetted by lawyers for accuracy and already gotten kudos from transportation advocates — is broken into categories such as “what to do at the scene of a crash” and “getting legal assistance.”
It answers questions about obtaining medical care and disputing insurers. And because it’s not a legal or medical referral service, it just gives readers info — it doesn’t try to promote goods and services or shill anything.
Michael Murphy, spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, told Runnin’ Scared that Wood’s project:
“is an important resource that brings previously disparate information together in one location, making it easy for crash victims to find. By informing crash victims of their rights, we hope the website will give them access to the medical attention and financial help they need to recover from their injuries and pay their medical bills.”
(Note: Other TA staffers did help Wood with this work.)
Wood’s helpful enterprise is also very important, given the dangers cyclists and peds constantly face.
The Mathieu Lefevre case, for example, has just prompted the City Council to revisit New York’s crash-investigation policies. And remember that a civil court found Abraham Soldaner at fault for cyclist Rasha Shamoon’s death, after cops decided not to press criminal charges. And Daniel Liss nearly died in a recent hit-and-run.
In New York, cars injure 11,000 pedestrians and 3,500 cyclists yearly, according to Wood.
Sadly, 180 die from these accidents annually.