Elmira Man Charged In Crash That Killed Two Motorcyclists In Horseheads

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Photo by WETM-TV.

An Elmira man has been charged with driving a vehicle while his abilities were impaired by drugs following a crash Tuesday evening that killed a motorcyclist and his passenger in Horseheads, according to news reports.

Horseheads police this morning identified the motorcyclist as Mathew Matteson, 43, of Elmira, and his passenger was Hayolyn Matteson, 42, also of Elmira. Mathew Matteson was pronounced dead last evening at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira and Hayolyn Matteson was pronounced dead last evening at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

Horseheads police are requesting that anyone who witnessed the crash contact them at (607) 739-5669.

The motorcyclists were killed when a car driven by Caden F. Charnetski, 18, turned left in front of the motorcycle, according to news reports. Horseheads Police Chief Thomas Stickler said the motorcyclists were ejected when they struck the left-turning car.

Charnetski was turning left onto Westlake Street from Westinghouse Road shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday when the crash occurred.

Chief Stickler also said Charnetski did not see the motorcyclists.

Charnetski and two passengers in the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

News reports said the crash scene was blocked off for hours after the collision so state troopers and village police officers could investigate. According to initial scanner reports, a medical helicopter was called to the scene.

The investigation continues and more charges are pending following blood tests and the crash reconstruction, according to news reports. It is a near certainty that Charnetski will be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter.

As I have repeatedly written, left-turning vehicles are the greatest threat that bikers face on the road. Not only are they the most common type of motorcycle collision I see, they also have the potential to be the most deadly. Car drivers today are more distracted than ever, and that’s before we add alcohol, or in this case, drugs, to the mix.

Please keep these two bikers and their families in your thoughts and prayers today. Please ride safely and anticipate the unexpected. We can all honor the lives of these bikers by refusing to give up the joy and freedom we experience every time we throw a leg over our bike.

Thank you for reading,

Adam Gee
[email protected]

 

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True Story: Loud Pipes Really Do Save Lives, Says NY and PA Motorcycle Lawyer

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I received an email today from a Twin Tiers resident who does not ride motorcycles, but is a big supporter and is careful to share the road. He is a big believer in looking twice to save lives, and has gotten into the habit, wisely, of looking twice at any stop in the road for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.

He is also an advocate for motorcyclists and bicyclists, reminding others to look twice and explaining why some motorcycles have modulating headlights and loud pipes. We want to do anything possible to get the attention of drivers who are too distracted too often. Flashing headlights help with visibility at a time when many vehicles always have their headlights on. It used to be only motorcyclists had headlights on during the day, but since we have lost that advantage, some have decided to make their headlights modulate to stand out.

Not every rider uses modulating headlights and loud pipes, but I see and hear more and more on the road.

In his email, the writer recalled a moment in traffic that is too familiar to motorcyclists and I had to share it:

My 88-year-old mother has always complained about loud motorcycles. She has a neighbor with a big Harley-Davidson who leaves for work before 7 a.m., and during the summer, he rides to work and rattles her windows.

I don’t think she is going to complain as much after what she saw Sunday.

 

The blinking headlight caught my eye. There were other vehicles with headlights on, but the modulating headlight stood out. It helped him stand out and helped me focus on him.

As he approached to pass me, his loud pipes told me right where he was at all times. I didn’t have to look because I could hear his progress in passing me. I slowed down and let him pass safely.

There was a converted school bus from a local church just ahead of me a few car lengths and traffic was heavy and slow in the right lane.

I was explaining to my mother how the modulating headlight got my attention and the loud pipes kept it when the motorcyclist pulled up next to the bus in the left lane. The motorcyclist, wisely, pulled to the left side of the lane, giving the bus plenty of room. The motorcyclist lingered a bit in the driver’s blind spot, and then wisely chose to speed up and get past the bus.

But before he could get even with the driver’s window, the driver of the bus began drifting into the left lane and the motorcyclist veered off the pavement into some gravel.

It was a miracle that there was not an accident. The motorcyclist revved his pipes loudly and I am convinced that is why the bus veered quickly back into the right lane.

The motorcyclist was able to recover, get his motorcycle back on the road safely, and speed away.

My mother and I were holding our breath and speechless for what felt like one minute. We were sure, for a few silent seconds, that we were going to see a motorcycle fatality.

Finally, she turned to me and said, “Those pipes saved him.”

I think she was right.

The motorcyclist deserves some credit, too. He could see the heavy traffic ahead of the bus and the potential for the bus to pull into the left lane. Once he was able to see what was ahead of the bus, he anticipated (correctly) the dangers in passing the bus.

As you always say, Adam, ride as if you are invisible.

Thanks,

Adam

_____________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.

NY and PA Personal Injury and Malpractice Attorney

The Ziff Law Firm, LLP

303 William Street

Elmira, NY  14901

Phone: (607)733-8866

Fax: (607)732-6062

Email: [email protected]

www.zifflaw.com

 

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Pothole Season A Clear And Present Danger This Spring In Twin Tiers, Says NY and PA Motorcycle Law Lawyer

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Potholes-1All motorists have hit their share of jarring potholes this spring. There are so many that they are hard to dodge – you veer around a big one and you’re bound to hit another. Our vehicles are taking a beating and can suffer lasting and expensive damage.

But for motorcyclists, potholes can be killers. Motorcycles, with just two wheels, are ill-equipped to handle potholes.

Motorcycle-Symbol-Sign-K-7192A 23-year-old motorcyclist was killed in the Philadelphia area recently when he was thrown from his motorcycle after hitting a pothole on Interstate 95 and slamming into a guardrail. He suffered major head injuries and died later in a hospital. Police have not said how fast the biker was going or whether he had a helmet.

Twin Tiers roads are a disaster this spring after our long and difficult winter. Motorcyclists need to slow down and be prepared to react quickly to hazards in the road.

They are not the only hazard facing motorcyclists: we have bumps in the roadways, seams that can snare wheels, gravel, and other debris.

When you see potholes, report them. We can’t report all of them, of course. But report as many of the most dangerous ones as you can.

Thanks, Adam

_____________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.

NY and PA Personal Injury and Malpractice Attorney

The Ziff Law Firm, LLP

303 William Street

Elmira, NY  14901

Phone: (607)733-8866

Fax: (607)732-6062

Email: [email protected]

www.zifflaw.com

Posted in Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle crashes, Motorcycle Insurance, Motorcycle Safety, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NY Assemblyman Seeks Tougher Laws To Protect Motorcyclists, Says NY and PA Motorcycle Law Lawyer

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Bill Nojay, a New York State Assembly member from the Rochester area, introduced legislation earlier this month to protect motorcyclists.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay of Pittsford.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay of Pittsford.

Nojay told the news media that he witnessed what happens when negligent drivers cause accidents with motorcycles when he was an emergency medical technician and ambulance driver for five years with Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance.

The legislation would create new levels of offenses, including a permanent driving suspension and up to 12 months in prison for a moving violation that results in the serious bodily injury or death of someone operating a motorcycle, according to news reports.

“Currently there is little to no penalty for committing a moving violation that results in the death or serious bodily injury of a driver or motorcyclist unless it’s considered Vehicular Manslaughter,” said Nojay, R-133rd District. “Connecticut and Pennsylvania have addressed this issue with new reforms that establish minimum penalties, and it’s time that New York passes similar legislation.”

When campaigning for his seat in the state Legislature, Nojay said he met the family of Sgt. Kade O’Brien, a Marine Iraq combat veteran who was killed in March 2011 by a negligent driver who received little more than a traffic ticket. O’Brien’s family asked Nojay to sponsor legislation to impose more severe penalties in cases where negligent driving resulted in severe injury or death to innocent motorcyclists.

Nojay, 59, represents all of Livingston County and parts of Steuben and Monroe counties. He lives in PIttsford.

Contact your state Senator or state Assembly member today and urge them to support this legislation.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

My book about buying motorcycle insurance, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers; follow the link to order your copy today!

 

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Be Prepared To Thwart Motorcycle Thieves, Says NY and PA Motorcycle Law Lawyer

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helmet cam

Thousands of motorcyclists have had their first rides of 2016 now that the snow is gone (we hope!), but the warmer weather brings out the motorcycle thieves, too. Stolen bikes are a growing problem in New York State, according to the New York Insurance Association (NYIA).

Motorcycle-Symbol-Sign-K-7192New York was No. 5 in the nation in its rate of motorcycle theft from 2014 to 2015, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The NYIA said thefts jumped 23 percent, from 1,544 to 1,902, but nationally the rate was up just 6 percent. The states with the most registered motorcycles were atop the list: California had 7,221 thefts, Florida 4,758 and Texas 3,403.

The report does not provide an explanation or theory for why the rate jumped so much.

The rest of the top 10: South Carolina 2,160; New York 1,902; North Carolina 1,866; Nevada 1,408; Georgia 1,393; Indiana 1,333; Virginia 1,253.

August is the biggest month for thefts, and the fewest bikes are swept in February (go figure!), a pattern that has remained the same for years.

Hondas are ranked first with thieves, with 8,674 stolen models, with Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki at 7,214, 6,605 and 4,920, respectively.

The recovery rate is about 30 percent, compared with roughly 60 percent for cars, according to the report. So here are some tips from NICB to help you thwart the thieves:

  • Always lock the ignition, remove keys, and park in well-lit areas.
  • Consider anti-theft devices like an alarm or a recovery system.
  • Properly document the motorcycle (including taking photographs) and make identifying marks on the vehicle.
  • Store the motorcycle title in a safe place — not in the motorcycle’s storage compartment.

For more tips, go here.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

My book about buying motorcycle insurance, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers; follow the link to order your copy today!

 

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Practice To Ride Safely In The Rain, Says NY And PA Motorcycle Law Lawyer

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The spring rainy days have finally arrived in the Twin Tiers, so it’s a good time to talk about riding in the rain. We all get caught in wet weather, but not every rider knows how to stay safe.

rain-cycle-Here are some great tips from a recent blog post I found on motorcycle-central.com:

  • Cover up and be visible: You want to stay as dry as possible, which won’t be easy riding in the rain. Even the most expensive rain suits will be put to the test in heavy rain. Invest in some protection if you like to go on long motorcycle rides because no one likes to get wet. Use a full-face helmet because it will keep the rain from hitting your face. Visibility is also important. If you can find a reflective rain suit, all the better. Bright colors work well, too. You want to be seen at all costs because of decreased visibility in the rain is one of the main reasons for accidents.
  • Stay calm: Whether the roads are wet or dry, you need to remain calm on your motorcycle, and not be tense or stiff. Sit down in your regular riding position, rest your hands on the bars like you normally would, and make sure your elbows, shoulders and neck are free to move around. It’s important to keep loose in dry conditions, but even more important in wet conditions. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for painted lines, manhole covers, train tracks, puddles and any other obstacles that may cause you to break traction. Take it easy on and off the throttle and brakes, but balance your grip. When you’re riding in the rain, aim to complete your turns before you accelerate. The more you ride in wet conditions, the more your confidence will grow.
  • Be smart about braking: Brakes aren’t as responsive on wet roads, so it’s important to stop at a safe distance when it’s raining. Also, take your speed into consideration – you want to be able to slow down at a dependable time when the roads are slick. Ride at a speed that your brakes can handle and always overestimate the time it will take you to stop. An important tip is never apply only the front brakes because it will cause your front wheel to slip. If your rear wheel slips, you can control it, but once your front wheel starts skidding, you’re in trouble. If you can apply a braking ratio of 60 percent rear brake and 40 percent front brake, you will be fine. Make sure to squeeze and not grab your brakes, as sudden shocks of force can break traction.

The best way to stay safe while riding in the rain is to just do it. Practice will make you more confident and safer. So the next time it starts to rain lightly, go for a quick spin and build your skills and confidence!

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

My book about buying motorcycle insurance, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers; follow the link to order your copy today!

 

 

 

Posted in Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle crashes, Motorcycle Insurance, Motorcycle Rides, Motorcycle Safety, New motorcyclists, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ziff Law’s Adam Gee Rated Among The Top Trial Lawyers In The Country By National Organization!

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Adam Gee.

Adam Gee.

Attorney Adam Gee of the Ziff Law Firm is among the top trial lawyers in the country, as determined by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC).

Adam was recently named a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent for 2015 by the NADC. He was selected by an independent panel of attorneys and approved by an NADC review board because of his high legal standards.

NADC_logo_200Once candidates are nominated, NADC researchers study their background and performance and pass on their recommendations to the panel for review. The panel makes its selections for a board of former judges to review and approve.

Adam devotes his practice to representing people injured through the actions of others and medical malpractice. A motorcycle rider himself, Adam represents many bikers injured by careless drivers. Adam has been an attorney for 18 years and has been with Ziff Law since 2004.

“As one of the hardest-working and most fearless trial lawyers I know, it came as no surprise to me that the NADC honored Adam as being among the top 1 percent of trial lawyers in the country!” said Ziff Law managing partner Jim Reed.

“I am humbled to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as the NADC,” Adam said. “I work as hard as I can for every client because I know that their ability to put their life back together may depend on successful I am in obtaining a recovery for them. To have my effort and results recognized by a national review board of my peers is extremely gratifying.

To learn more about NADC, go here.

Thanks for reading!

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PA Motorcyclists May Soon Get OK to ‘Ride on Red,’ Says NY and PA Motorcycle Lawyer

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“Ride on Red” may soon be the law in Pennsylvania, which would let motorcyclists proceed with caution through an intersection when they can’t get the attention of a traffic signal stuck on red. New York State lawmakers should approve similar legislation!

Red_Light_590According to news reports here and here, state Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-North Middleton Township, has introduced legislation called the “Ride on Red” bill, which would give motorcyclists and

bicyclists the ability to ride through when trapped by a stale red.

Many traffic signals use a vehicle detection system to trigger changes, but motorcycles are usually not big enough to be seen.

State Sen. Bloom.

State Sen. Bloom.

“As a result, law-abiding riders become stuck at red lights that won’t turn green until a larger vehicle is detected,” Bloom told the news media. “A local rider first brought this dilemma to my attention, and I’ve since learned that it’s a frequent problem for riders across the commonwealth.”

Bloom’s bill would allow the driver of a motorcycle or bicycle to proceed through an intersection only after exercising due care as provided by law.

The Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) of Pennsylvania supports the legislation.

A.B.A.T.E. State Lobbyist Charles Umbenhauer told the news media that riders have had to deal with this for decades. If caught going through an inactive traffic signal by police, motorcycle riders can usually get out of the ticket if they fight it in court, citing a malfunctioning traffic light.

Many municipalities can adjust the sensitivity of their traffic signals to detect motorcycles. But Umbenhauer said it’s difficult to get them to do it.

The “Ride on Red” bill would fix the problem by giving riders the opportunity to legally drive through inactive lights, he said.

Umbenhauer said similar efforts to pass this sort of legislation did not succeed in the past and he is unsure whether a new governor and General Assembly will make a difference this time.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

My book about buying motorcycle insurance, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers; follow the link to order your copy today!

 

 

Posted in Motorcycle Laws, Motorcycle Safety, motorcycles intersections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Avoid 10 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents, Says NY and PA Motorcycle Law Attorney

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RideApart Inc.

RideApart Inc.

RideApart has a great blog post that should be a MUST-READ before all motorcyclists head out to the open road next time.

look twice vertical“10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them” is a great reminder of what we can do when we face different dangerous situations on the road.

It’s not just for beginners. It’s a good refresher for experienced motorcyclists, too.

Each of the 10 Common Accidents has a description and a short video to illustrate.

Counting down:

10. A car turns left in front of you.

9. You hit gravel in a blind corner.

8. You entered a corner too fast.

7. A car changes lane into you.

6. A car hits you from behind.

5. Your riding buddies are idiots.

4. You locked the front brake.

3. A car opened its door.

2. It’s slippery!

1. The Most Common Bike Accident. (You will have to read the blog post to see what’s No. 1.)

Tell me what you think in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

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NY and PA Motorcycle Lawyer: Are You Prepared If Disaster Strikes A Buddy While You Are Riding Together?

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motorcycle

Most motorcycle riders prepare themselves to ride — they slip on their helmets, armored clothes and gloves and check the weather to be sure they will be safe.

G-4 Watch For Motorcycles GRAPHICBut what happens if you’re riding in a group and someone else has an accident?

Are you prepared to help, and even more important, trained to help?

Motorcyclistonline.com has a great post on how you be prepared in the face of disaster.

Among the suggestions:

  • Contact your local Red Cross chapter for CPR and first aid training.
  • Remember to warn oncoming traffic so the disaster does not turn into multiple injuries and fatalities.
  • Does the downed rider need immediate help? That is the first step in assessing the extent of the injuries. Never move a downed rider.
  • Always carry a first-aid kit with everything you may need, including gauze bandages, latex gloves and much more.
  • Put direct pressure on the wound if someone is bleeding.

Read the complete post for many more details and be prepared. I hope you will never need to be ready to help a downed rider, but better to be ready!

Thanks for reading,

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

Posted in Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle crashes, Motorcycle Helmets, Motorcycle Injury Cases, Motorcycle Rides, Motorcycle Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment