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 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.
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.
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.
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%.
Despite the warm and fuzzy advertising campaigns, auto Insurance companies are in the cut-throat business of making profits for shareholders, sometimes at the expense of the safety of their customers. A lawsuit by over 500 auto body shops in 36 states alleges that major car insurance companies pr...
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:
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.
While on the road, drivers have to accommodate a variety of situations. Everyone has come upon the dreaded construction zone while commuting. These zones are sometimes difficult to drive through and extremely frustrating. State highway work zones are defined in A.R.S. 28-652d as “…an area that is within a state highway right-of-way and that is subject to preliminary engineering work or construction, repair or maintenance work.” These work zones are a necessary evil as they result in necessary improvements to our Arizona roads.
The iconic Driver’s Ed. that is depicted so often on the big screen is fast becoming a thing of the past. These courses are not necessarily requirements for new generations. This means that many of the new drivers on the road are not as prepared for day to day driving. It is not much to ponder that car crashes are the leading cause of accidental fatality in teenagers. Research from the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety says that uneducated drivers are much more likely to get a traffic conviction than their educated counterparts. The study used cross-sectional comparison of over 94 thousand educated and non-educated teen records. Educated teen drivers were 40 percent less likely to receive a traffic conviction and 4.3 percent less likely to crash. Drivers who completed the program tended to have raised:
t our Phoenix personal injury law firm we know all too well that distracted driving is dangerous driving. Mental distractions are an easy trigger for unintentional driving err and vehicle collisions which cause many of our personal injury cases. According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety hands-free technology in vehicles actually increases mental distraction. This may be a surprise for many, as three out of four drivers believe these systems are safe to use. The study, conducted at the University of Utah, evaluated the hands-free, voice-activated systems and ranked them based on the level of cognitive distraction each device caused. The ranks were appointed based on a five-category ranking system developed in a similar University of Utah study in 2013:
Small children, low walls, bikes, and much more are behind-the-vehicle hazards that every driver must face when backing up a vehicle. At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we are all too familiar with accidents caused by vehicular blind spots. Rear view cameras are drastically improving visibility of the otherwise blind spot directly behind the vehicle. These camera systems are reducing the number of low-speed, back-over fatalities, particularly in the case of small children. Beginning in 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require rear view cameras in all passenger vehicles, with full compliance by 2018.
At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we discourage the use of social media during your injury case. While there are a great many advantages to using social media to keep up with friends and loved ones it is not always those people that are looking at your personal information. The social media disadvantage is the public access to your life and personal information with its use. Despite privacy settings there is the potential for access by undesirable entities that can take a seemingly innocent status update and construe it to something negative or harmful to your case. Social media sites are constantly updating privacy settings that can fly under the radar of users and allow the public access to personal information. Furthermore, insurance investigators can potentially use a pseudonym to create a fake account, despite ethical and site user guidelines against it, and gain access to your page. If you choose to keep your accounts active here are just few things to keep in mind:
Q & A: Should I purchase Medical Payment Coverage on my Automobile Insurance Policy? It depends. If you can afford it, most people should carry some amount of Medical Payment Coverage, also known in shorthand as Med-Pay. Medical Payment insurance pays for
In a recent article the Arizona Republic studied collision reports from the Arizona Department of Transportation and compiled a list of the top ten intersections to have a car crash. The article, titled “10 Most Crash-Prone Intersections in Metro Phoenix,” listed the intersections’ average drivers per day, injuries, and number of crashes. At our Phoenix personal injury law office many of the cases we see are the result of mishaps in dangerous intersections. The high collision rates of these, and many others, intersections has much to do with the high traffic volume coupled with a large amount of pedestrians. Several of the top crash-prone intersections are used as alternate routes to freeways and are located near schools, shopping centers, and high-density neighborhoods. Most of the top ten listed in the article are located in the west valley lying west of the Interstate 17 and east of the loop 101. Experts at the Maricopa Association of Governments are unable to explain why this might be.
Have you have heard the Arizona Department of Transportation has revamped the Arizona driver’s license and ID card? In an effort to cut down on the production of fake IDs and identity theft, the design of the license has been made more difficult to duplicate. The license is still in accordance with A.R.S. §28-3166 and contains all the same descriptive information, license class, holder’s signature, and color photo. The security features embedded in the new design include the “unique Arizona geological features” in the lines of the background, a large color photo on the left with a secondary smaller photo on the right, and birthdates printed with a raised, tactile feel.
n 2014, the Arizona Department of Public Safety partnered with ADOT and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to step up efforts to prevent wrong-way motorists on our highways. At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we often see cases that involve some of the key components of wrong-way driving such as impaired motorists and late night driving. Wrong-way driving has occurred more and more the last few years and is one of the most lethal driving mistakes. To decrease wrong-way driving the group plans to focus on the “3 E’s” of highway safety: enforcement, engineering, and education. The Highway Patrol is emphasizing enforcement by diligently intercepting DUI’s and impaired drivers. Under engineering, ADOT is concentrating its efforts on freeway on and off ramps. They have lowered “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs to eye level, just four feet off the ground, and are testing the use of larger signs as well as red reflectors with arrows indicating the correct direction of traffic. The agencies are educating motorists on the topic of what to do if you encounter a wrong-way driver. Typically, wrong-way driving occurs during the overnight hours in the HOV lane. Often, in all wrong-way collisions this year, these drivers are impaired. Advice for motorists includes:
aution and attentiveness are important parts of driving on highways and roads for cars and smaller vehicles. Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks and tractor trailers have the same responsibility to share the road as any other vehicle and drivers must have a Commercial Driver’s License issued in accordance with A.R.S. § 28-3224. Those sorts of vehicles, however, are much larger creating more blind spots for their drivers and can do significantly more damage in the event of a wreck. On December 1, 2014 the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a press release stating that a van was exiting the I-10 at the 67th Avenue off ramp when it collided with the rear end of a semi, ultimately resulting in the death of the Phoenix driver. Distracted driving is believed to be a factor. Our Phoenix personal injury law firm sees these types of collisions all too often. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Crash Statistics, in 2009 alone there were over two thousand semi-truck collisions involving injuries in Arizona, 67 of those crashes resulted in fatalities.
For many of us in Arizona, driving in snow and ice is not part of our daily routine in the winter. We enjoy a chill in the air without a drastic change in driving conditions. For those of us who venture up north to ski at Arizona Snowbowl, Sunrise or spend your holiday vacation in winter worn states to visit family, driving can become a heart-pounding experience. At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we regularly see accidents that were preventable with just a little know-how. Protect yourself and others from making novice errors by keeping a few simple tips in mind:
Q & A: I wasn't wearing my seat belt. Do I still have a case? Yes, you probably do. Sometimes, the injuries in a car accident were not actually caused by the failure to wear a shoulder/lap belt and in some rare instances, the harm would have been worse had the person been wearing the restraint.
Just like life, the law is not always black and white. In many car accident cases that I see in my Phoenix personal injury law practice, there are complicated and sometimes unpredictable comparative fault issues. What this means that it does have to be a clear-cut conclusion as to fault for a car...
Sometimes car accidents we see in our Phoenix personal injury law firm would not have occurred if one of the drivers had not been driving aggressively. The problem is most aggressive drivers imagine themselves to be superior, even excellent, drivers who have no patience with less-than-superb drivers on the road. Unfortunately, they are deluding themselves, and their delusions may lead to their losing their driving privileges.
Most of the car accident cases that I see in my Phoenix personal injury law practice are a result of ordinary negligence, such as speeding, following to close, inattention or failure to yield. However, sometimes I encounter cases where excessive speed constitutes recklessness or gross negligence....
In our Phoenix personal injury law practice, we often see teen drivers whose overconfidence has led to a car accident or one who has been in a car with another teen driver who has been injured as a result of another teen’s inexperience. It is no secret that teenage drivers are at a higher risk of collisions than drivers in any other age group because they are inexperienced and likely to not perceive hazardous situations and not know how to avoid or mitigate the consequences. In fact, the risk of having a motor vehicle accident is highest among 16 to 19 year olds, and this age group is most likely to be in a fatal crash. There is not a parent alive who doesn’t dread answering a knock on the door to see a police officer bearing bad tidings.
t is the time of year in Arizona when we remember why we put up with grueling heat all summer. It is cooling down and we all know what that means, we can finally head outside and enjoy the outdoors. As we dust off our bicycles and inflate the tires we should take a moment to think about safety. At our personal injury law firm we encounter cyclist and motor vehicle collisions often. Both as a driver of a vehicle and as a cyclist it is important to be cautious and share the road. Arizona state law mandates that cyclists on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle under A.R.S. §28-812 Applicability of traffic laws to bicycle riders.