Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Arizona's "Move Over" Traffic Law

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

Have you heard of Arizona’s “Move Over” law? A.R.S. 28-775, or the “Move Over” law, was enacted in 2005 due to an increase in injury and fatality in police officers and emergency personnel. The motivation for this law was to ensure safety while stopped on the side of the road. A.R.S. 28-775 states: If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and

Arizona Auto Booster Seat Law - Required For Most Children Ages 5 to 7

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our Phoenix area personal injury law firm, we see the dire consequences of motor vehicle crashes involving children all too often. In August, 2012, the Arizona child passenger safety laws were updated to include booster seat provisions. In the prior legislation, the safety laws allowed children to transition from a child safety seat to a seat belt alone when they reached 5 years of age. Most caregivers and parents would agree that trusting the safety belt to protect small passengers does not offer the safest option. The revised law requires a booster seat for children, 5-7 years old, and under 57” inches height.

Arizona Car Buying Awareness

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Buying a car is a huge financial investment. It is important that buyers and sellers alike do their due diligence for any transaction. Schemes are all around where criminals are looking to make a quick buck by defrauding innocent buyers and sellers. Scams can be simple or elaborate. You make be dealing with a seller rolling back the odometer. There could be a sophisticated schemer who pays cash for a vehicle to have a title clear of financial liens, then obtains a duplicate title with which they receive a title loan, and finally sell the cleared title with the vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer. The innocent buyer is then left unable to properly title or register the vehicle until the lien is paid off or the lien holder may just repossess the vehicle. Sellers can be scammed by people paying cash using counterfeit money or a check from a bogus bank account. A seller could allow a buyer to test drive the vehicle alone and they never return. ADOT issued a list of precautions for buyers and sellers to take before making a transaction so innocent people do not become the victim of fraud. These tips include:

Arizona Highway Safety - Runaway Truck Ramp

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here in Arizona temperatures are creeping up and you know what that means. Summer’s on its way. Many of us will be road tripping out of the valley of the sun for summer vacation, to enjoy our amazing Arizona highways, or just to escape the heat. As you are driving the winding Arizona roads you will probably see the runaway truck or safety ramps off the side of the road. Most likely these signs do not take up much of your attention but they are surprisingly important to your safety and the progression of your drive. The Arizona Department of Transportation recently posted a video about these ramps’ vital role.

No Big Surprise - Distracted Teen Drivers Cause Car Accidents

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

In what is said to be the most comprehensive study into teen driving, the AAA Foundation has conducted research examining video footage of nearly 1700 teenage drivers in the moments leading up to car accidents. They discovered that the issue of distracted teen drivers is actually much worse than was previously estimated using police reports. In our Phoenix personal injury law office we often see cases where teen drivers’ inexperience and overconfidence leads to injury. Distracted driving is determined to be a factor in 60% of the crashes, which is actually 4 times the amount that had been estimated. The in-depth analysis found the most common distractions in ranking order were:

Seniors Support Scrutiny for Driver License Renewal

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

Seniors are supporting tougher driving laws for, well, seniors. This group also supports overall tougher driving laws such as bans on using wireless devices and ignition interlocks for those with DUIs. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that the vast majority of elders support a thorough license-renewal process for all seniors. The research found 7 out of 10 seniors supported drivers, ages 75 and older, being required to renew their license in person and nearly 80% wanted drivers, again 75 and older, to pass medical screenings to remain licensed.

The Rubber Gas Nozzles of Phoenix

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you’ve ever purchased gas in Phoenix then you have probably noticed those cumbersome rubber collars that are on the nozzles. These seals came into widespread use in 1993 to help reduce pollution per the federal Clean Air Act requirements. Phoenix has had an unacceptable level of air pollution for years that does not meet federal ozone level standards. These ‘vapor recovery’ nozzle covers are a method for reducing the amount of fuel vapors that are released into the air when gas is pumped. The plunger-looking rubber cap is built to vacuum these vapors and transport them to an underground holding tank that all gas stations in Phoenix are required to have. It may seem counter-productive to improving air quality to remove them. Newer vehicles, however, have their own built-in mechanisms that catch the gas vapors and keep them from entering the atmosphere based on automakers’ own federal air-quality regulations. These systems in vehicles and on the gas pump are redundant. Not only are they repetitive, but the systems in some vehicles compete with the rubber nozzle covers and ultimately causes both to be ineffective. As a result, the Maricopa Association of Governments has asked the EPA to let Phoenix gas stations remove the nozzles. The plan is now in place for their removal beginning in October 2016 and finish by September 2018. This will initially be an expense for the companies but, as the underground holding tanks will no longer be necessary, over time companies will ultimately save money.

168 million drove drowsy last year!

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving! According to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one-in-five (21 percent) fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. According to Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Unfortunately, drivers often underestimate this risk and overestimate their ability to combat drowsiness behind the wheel.” More attention has been paid to drowsy driving since the June 2014 accident involving a Walmart tractor-trailer and the limousine carrying well-known comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike that left one dead and the comedian seriously injured. Unfortunately, it has been an unappreciated problem for much longer.

CHILD SAFETY - Car Seat Manufacturer Paying Big

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

The car seat manufacturer Graco has just been fined $10 million in civil penalty by the Department of Transportation for failing to give a timely notification of a child safety seat defect. The Harness Buckle Recall, announced last year, is the largest ever on a child safety seat, affecting more than 4 million car seats. The issue is with the harness buckle, which may become difficult to unbuckle or stuck in the latched position. If the buckle were to stick in an emergency it becomes a hazard or life threatening. In February 2014 the company recalled defective convertible and booster seats and in June 2014 an additional 2 million rear facing infant seats.

What's In Your Hummus?

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Have you purchased any Sabra hummus lately? The company just issued a recall on 30 thousand cases of their Classic Hummus. After a regularly scheduled inspection at a Kroger in Port Huron, MI on March 30th the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found the possible contamination of listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes are known to cause short term symptoms such as headache, fever, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea for healthy adults. The effects, however, for young children, those with weakened immune systems, and the elderly may be more serious or even fatal. Pregnant woman can potentially experience miscarriage or still birth.

Tempe, Arizona Considering Ban on Smoking in Cars with Children Present

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Tempe is considering a ban on smoking in cars with children present. Recently elected city councilman David Schapira, formerly of the state legislature, made the proposition at a recent city council meeting. Schapira attempted to pass such a law at the state level each of the three years he served but nothing ever came of it. Other states, such as California and Oregon, have a similar law on the books prohibiting smoking in a vehicle with a child passenger. If Tempe elected to pass the law it would be the first of its kind within the state of Arizona. When he proposed the bad, Schapira said “Tempe has historically been a leader in tobacco-related issues.”

Bill Against Aggressive Panhandling

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Most everyone has had the experience of someone asking for money on the street. You may be just stopping for gas or walking into a grocery store when someone approaches you and simply asks you to spare a dollar. You give your answer and move on. Maybe you dig a loose dollar out of your pocket, or you let them know you have nothing to spare. More rare, you may have a different experience where you are approached, perhaps leaving an ATM, and a simple ‘no’ is not sufficient for this pushy panhandler. They step forward into your personal space and continue on with one reason or another about why they need the money and how you would really be helping them out, while semi-impeding your ability to leave. In this situation you can feel more than uncomfortable about their persistent and forceful attitude.

ARIZONA BIKE WEEK DEATH

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 03, 2015 | 0 Comments

There are many inherent dangers in driving a motorcycle. It is a small automobile, often hidden in the blind spot of larger vehicles sharing the road, manned by an entirely exposed driver. Our Phoenix based personal injury law firm often sees needless injuries that are the result of driver’s miscalculation. Motorcyclists have to be even more dutiful in following the law than your average driver in order to protect themselves. Other vehicles are always cautioned to share the road and check blind spots because of how easily an error can lead to a fatality. Unfortunately, Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld of Scottsdale resulted in tragedy for two of its riders due to negligence.

YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO PEDESTRIANS

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

According to Traffic Safety Facts April 2014 report, there is an upward trend of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents nationally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says “on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.” Our Phoenix personal injury law office has handled numerous cases of pedestrians struck by vehicles. Arizona is contributing to this statistic. Early Thursday morning on March 12th in San Tan Valley a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. This comes less than a month after a Scottsdale collision on February 18th, where a car was exiting the Loop 101 freeway and struck two pedestrians in a cross walk. Of the two, one was taken to the hospital to be treated, the other was declared deceased.

Phoenix New Addition - Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

he Valley’s freeways are soon to include a new addition, one that has been 30 years in the making. If you have lived in the Valley for a while you may have heard of the phantom South Mountain Freeway. The 22-mile long freeway project is the last leg of the Loop 101/202 system that would impact the metro-Phoenix area and improve regional mobility. In 1985 Maricopa County voters first approved the construction of a South Mountain Freeway with Proposition 300. That proposition allowed funding for the freeway as part of The Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Freeway Program. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 400 which again allotted funding through the Regional Transportation Plan. ADOT Director John Halikowski says “voters recognized the need and the benefits of this project to provide connectivity, travel reliability and route options for a growing region.” Final approval for the long-anticipated project finally came on March 5th when the Federal Highway Administration signed the Record of Decision. This final approval allows ADOT to start acquiring right of way, which will begin immediately, for the freeway’s construction.

ARIZONA DPS ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

Commercial vehicles make up a large portion of traffic on roadways, especially highways. The sheer size of these vehicles makes them formidable to other drivers sharing the road. The Arizona Department of Public Safety implemented Operation Southern Shield 2015 on the Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 highways that aimed to reduce commercial vehicle crashes. This was a three day operation from February 24 to 26 during which officers inspected commercial vehicles and driver logs. Over 1,100 vehicles were inspected. As a result, 168 vehicles were put out of service and over 2 thousand vehicles violations were discovered. DPS officers placed 132 drivers out of service and brought to light 965 drivers’ violations. During Operation Southern Shield 2015, no commercial vehicle collision occurred.

Car Accidents Affect 1 in 3, Yet They Continue Unsafe Driving

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety yields startling news about drivers’ behavior. According to their findings, even with one in three drivers having loved ones that were seriously injured or killed in a car accident and one in five that were personally involved in a crash, they chose to continue unsafe driving practices. This unsafe behavior includes speeding habitually, using devices that pull attention from the road, driving drowsy, and even running red lights. President of the AAA Foundation, Peter Kissinger, says “large numbers of motorists seem to recognize the risks of certain behaviors but do them anyway.”

DISTRACTED DRIVING - DON'T FACEBOOK AND DRIVE

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 07, 2015 | 0 Comments

I, like many others, have a Facebook account that I use when keeping up with friends and family and to receive updates about events and happenings. I even have the Facebook app on my cellphone that I may use anywhere. While perusing the newsfeed of Facebook this morning, I came across a very startling video of woman. She is a singer who was updating her Facebook “family” about one of her upcoming performances. That alone is innocent enough, except for one important thing. She was driving. She was driving and holding her cell phone in her hand addressing her Facebook audience. The woman frequently took her eyes off the road to speak directly to the camera, becoming so enthused that she took her other hand off the wheel multiple times to point to the camera and dance along with her loud background music. At one point in the video she even makes mention of how she’s “battling traffic right now trying to get to work” and turns her phone around to show the audience a view of the morning rush hour.

Attention Flagstaff Bicyclists

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

Attention Flagstaff cyclists: after a six month warning period, the Flagstaff Police Department is now giving tickets to bicyclists caught using cellular devices for reading or writing text messages while in motion. Bicyclists make up a good portion of traffic on the roadways so the city decided it was necessary to issue ordinance on the matter. Sergeant Margaret Bentzen of the Flagstaff Police Department said that “we believe safety is everyone’s responsibility.” The ordinance went into effect on February 15th. Those caught on their devices will receive a $100 fine. If on a device and involved in a collision, you will receive a $250 fine in addition to any other accompanying fines. The City of Flagstaff already has a law against using your cell phone while driving. The purpose of this new law is to bring a stop to distracted driving by all motorists, which may prevent bicycle and car accidents.

Driving in Fog, in Phoenix?

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 04, 2015 | 0 Comments

Did you see that incredible fog that covered parts of the valley this week? The cold front that passed through the valley on Monday made Phoenix seem more like waking up in Seattle on Tuesday. Moisture from the rain, high dew point, and cool air temperatures left a thick layer of fog during morning rush hour. The fog was so heavy there were even delays at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The majority of fog was near South Mountain but also in other areas of the state. It began clearing as the temperature rose through the day.

CAN YOUR CAR GET HACKED?

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Feb 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Perhaps you have heard of malware and even had to use software to remove it from your computer. Malware is software that embeds itself to your computer and damages, disables, or collects information from your system. A report from Kaspersky, an Internet security company, claims there is a hacking campaign by a collective known as the Equation group using malware “that’s unusually quiet, complex and powerful” and “exceeds anything we have ever seen before.” Personal computer systems, companies, and even governments are experiencing the effects of malware. Most likely, you do not consider your car to be a computer. It is just a mode of transportation. However, most of the automobiles on the market today have some sort of computer operating system.

CHILD SAFETY SEATS SAVE LIVES

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Feb 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Do you know how to properly use a child safety seat? At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we often represent children who have been injured in car accidents. Car seats have a vital part in ensuring the safety of our children while driving. According to the CDC, the leading cause of death among children in the United States is vehicle injuries. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that one in five parents of young children will “bend the rules” by letting children ride without car seats, booster seats, and sometimes even seatbelts. Use of a car seat reduces risk of death for infants by 71% and toddlers by 54%. Booster seats for young children reduce the risk of serious injury by 45%.

Car Accident 101 - Unattended Vehicle Collisions

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Feb 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

No one wakes up and expects to be involved in a car accident that day. Our Phoenix personal injury law firms recognizes that unexpected collisions are a fact of life. After making mistakes, we should take responsibility for our actions. One such event is mistakenly colliding with an unattended vehicle. Should this be the fate of your day, you should know your legal obligation in accordance with A.R.S. 28-664 Duty on striking unattended vehicle:

Driver Safety Tip: Don't Pull Your Tooth Out While Driving on the Highway

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jan 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

Distracted driving due to texting, phone calls, eating and tuning the radio are activities well known to contribute to motor vehicle accidents. However, this is a first - the Alabama Hiighway Patrol reports that a semi-truck crashed on the highway while removing his hands from the steering wheel in order to pull out a loose tooth. The tooth was found in his pocket as evidence. http://www.al.com/news/tuscaloosa/index.ssf/2015/01/troopers_trucker_pulling_his_o.html Jay Ciulla is an Arizona personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.

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