4216Some types of car accidents garner a lot of media attention. Rollover collisions, drunk driving crashes, and wrong-way head-on accidents are all heavily covered by news outlets in the greater Phoenix area, and as a result, most drivers are aware of how dangerous these incidents can be. However, accidents that happen at slow speeds tend to get less publicity so many people think that they do not cause a lot of damage or cause injuries.

The truth is much darker. Tragically, any type of collision can cause serious harm, and among them, accidents involving children or minors are particularly devastating. Children of all ages, but especially those under five years old, are at an unusually high risk for being involved in a backover car accident while in Maricopa County.

Backovers are so prevalent that an average of 50 children are involved in these collisions each week in the United States, causing an average of 13,000 injuries annually and approximately 232 deaths.

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13116(2)If you are like the average Phoenix resident, you take to the roads every day to get around the Valley, whether you go to work, take kids to school, or just run errands. Even if you do not personally drive, you may utilize the roadways in a car pool, as a passenger in a vehicle, on a public or private bus, or even while walking. No matter what you do and how you do it, odds are that the roadways, freeways, and interstates play a significant role in your daily life.

But you are not the only one that uses these public roads. Additionally, large trucks, semi-trucks, and big rigs can be found on Arizona roads each and every day of the year. Though the drivers of these vehicles must undergo special training and be specially licensed, they are not perfect drivers and they are to blame in numerous truck accidents annually. These crashes not only inconvenience those that are involved but tragically cause some victims to be injured and others to lose their lives, damages that cannot be undone and cannot be righted, not matter what post-accident actions are taken.

Unfortunately, national data reveals that deaths due to truck accidents have been increasing in recent years, leading many to ask what can be done to reverse this trend.

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102215%282%29.jpgIf you are the parent of a young child, you are probably familiar with infant car seats, regular car seats, convertible seats and boosters. You may have a variety of them that you have used over the years or you may just be starting your journey with infant restraints. While it can seem complicated at times, it is important to understand the importance of car seats and the role they play in your children’s safety.

If you live in Arizona or if you drive in the state, you are required to follow the laws governing children in vehicles. That means if your child is younger than eight years or or shorter than 4’9″, your child must either be in a car seat or a booster seat, depending on her actual age and size.

Beyond the legal requirements of the state or a locality, it is important to use a car seat for the safety of your child. Vehicular safety advances are designed to help protect an adult of typical height and weight. When compared, a child is too small and too light to be safely protected by things like a standard seat belt or an airbag. Rather, children are often injured severely if they encounter either instead of being properly secured in an approved child safety seat.
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121715(2)Phoenix and the surrounding cities are home to an unusual and eclectic mix of individuals. Known as a transplant destination, people come from all areas of the country – and even a few from Arizona itself – to comprise our population. As a result, there are drivers with a range of skills and knowledge on our shared roadways and contributing to public safety. While some skills are used in every state, like stopping for a red light, other techniques are not as helpful here in the desert, like driving efficiently in a heavy snowstorm.

One such skill that should be highly touted among all drivers, regardless of from where they hail, is the ability to recognize early warning signs of drowsiness and to respond appropriately by taking a break. After all, everyone gets tired sometimes and everyone needs to travel at times as well. Ideally, though, the tired will not also be the drivers in Phoenix and drowsy driving accidents will not occur. In reality, motorists are driving while sleepy every single day and are causing so many car accidents that experts are having a hard time concluding just how pervasive the problem is in Arizona.

Drowsy driving can strike at any time and can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. Signs of drowsiness can start slowly and may involve difficulty concentrating or focusing on the road in front of the vehicle. A driver may start to notice her eyelids becoming heavy or may find herself blinking more frequently than normal. Others may find themselves unable to recall driving the previous few miles or struggling to keep their head upright as they drive.

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21716(2)Traffic accidents happen in Arizona, and unfortunately, they happen far too frequently. In fact, in 2015, 116,609 traffic crashes happened in our state which averages out to more than 300 collision each day of the year. Any of these incidents can be dangerous but some of the greatest harm comes when a truck accident takes place, especially if the crash involves a smaller vehicle as well or an unprotected victim like a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist.

Truck accidents are more likely than car accidents to result in fatalities in part due to the large size and weight of a truck. Trucks have a lot of inertia and are difficult to slow or stop, leading them to continue on their path of travel after an initial striking incident. If a smaller vehicle is in the path of a truck, that vehicle may be crushed or even run over by the truck, potentially leading to catastrophic results for anyone inside the car.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety monitors statistics related to truck accidents and concluded that 3,660 people were killed in truck crashes in the United States in 2014. But not all people involved in these incidents fared a similar risk of death. In fact, 83 percent of fatalities associated with large truck collisions befell those outside of a large truck whether they were inside another vehicle or not.

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120514(2)School has been in full swing for thousands of children in the Phoenix area for some time now. They are used to grabbing their backpacks in the morning, making sure they have their lunch, and heading out the door to hop in a car, walk down the sidewalk, ride a bicycle, or grab the bus to get to school at this point, working on routine and often running a little on the late side.

According to experts, taking a school bus continues to be the safest means of transit for young children to get to and from school every day. The buses are designed with safety in mind and that helps explain why they are large, sturdy, bright yellow, and outfitted with many lights and stop signs. Even if a school bus accident does occur, students are less likely to be injured than they would be if they were in a smaller passenger vehicle like a car due to numerous safety designs.

But school bus drivers and the students themselves can only account for so much on their own when it comes to safety. It is also important that other drivers on the roadways, near school zones, and driving near a school bus do their part to guarantee that everyone remains free from an accident and that no one is injured unnecessarily.

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12916(2)Dogs are so popular in America that it is hard to determine exactly how many of them live here in the country. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 70-80 million dogs live in our nation’s households, holding positions from security guards to trusted companions to family members. Dogs in America have jobs, help the disabled, work with police forces and the military, and even patrol our nation’s airports. Yet though it may be hard to make it through a week without encountering a dog of some type or size, there is not a ton of attention paid to the negative parts of dog ownership.

Residents in the Phoenix area should be aware of the risks that come with being near a dog, even if they do not own one personally. Simply occupying a space near a dog can put an Arizona resident at risk for a dog bite incident or a dog attack, potentially leading to serious harm.

Often, the victims of animal attacks have done nothing wrong and have not provoked an animal, leading them to wonder why they were harmed when their conduct was legal. While nothing can undue the harm caused by these incidents, those who are injured do have rights under state and local laws so that they can ensure they are protected. Many victims can bring a personal injury claim in or out of a court of law to provide them with payment for their injuries, whatever they may be. Often, payment is available to help with the cost of medical, surgical, and reconstructive bills as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and the loss of a normal life. Some victims may sustain permanent scarring which can be compensated through a claim as well.

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121015(3)Any type of car accident can be and often is frightening. Whether one occurs on a busy street or a residential roadway, on an interstate or in a school zone, in the morning, the evening, or at night, collisions are always unfortunate and can be very harmful. But the truth is that some types of collisions are more dangerous than others.

Head-on collisions are more prone to cause injuries and even deaths than are some other types of accidents like rear-end collisions or mere “fender benders.” The reasons are complex and are grounded in the physics behind these incidents. A head-on collision involves the front ends of two vehicles striking one another so that each car sustains damage to the front of it. When compared to a side impact or an offsetting strike, head-on collisions can have greater opposing forces because a vehicle typically is moving forward prior to impact just to be jerked in the exact opposite direction of travel. Drivers and passengers inside a car that is involved in a head-on accident find themselves thrown forward out of their seats and against a seat belt before being slammed back against their seats. In some instances, a driver may strike a steering wheel or other object in the car if the force of the crash is great enough.

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51616(2)Turning on the morning news in Phoenix continues to bring increased awareness of the safety risks faced by bicyclists in our community every day. Not long goes by without a report of an accident or a fatality between a biker and a motor vehicle, many of which were caused by mistakes that could have been avoided.

If we could understand the reasons behind these collisions, more and more of them would be prevented and the associated loss of life would be curtailed. So with that in mind, exactly why do so many cyclists keep losing their lives in the Valley?

Like the majority of traffic accidents that happen here in Arizona, there is no one easy answer. Accidents happen for countless reasons but the biggest thing they have in common is that one or more individuals involved made a mistake. In fact, if all motorists and cyclists drove and rode according to the rules of the road and with safety as their primary concern, almost no collisions would happen. Instead, though, it is the errors of our citizens that are causing damage and leading to incidents that cannot be undone.

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42716(2)By all definitions, Phoenix is a large city with the benefits and problems that are associated with large towns. The Phoenix metropolitan area, often called Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, was estimated to be home to about 4.5 million residents in 2015, making it the 12th largest metropolitan area in the nation by population, according to the United States Census Department. With all those people, it should not be surprising that transportation and travel is an ongoing issue in the Valley with state and local officials constantly looking for ways to eliminate some of the congestion.

City officials have implemented massive improvements in public transportation in recent decades and now are working on Phoenix Transportation 2050, a comprehensive plan to advance the public transportation scene in Phoenix during a 35 year period ending in 2050. As part of that project, 42 miles of new light rail routes are planned with new light rail stations, an additional 1,000 miles of bicycle lanes will be constructed, the number, availability, and frequency of city buses will increase, and 135 miles of sidewalks will be added to our community. Importantly, there are also plans to add 75 new miles of RAPID routes and advanced technology like Wi-Fi on buses and trains.

You may be one of the thousands who have benefited from the introduction of the light rail, the upgrades to city buses as of late, or even the easier access afforded to public transit users. If that is the case, there is little doubt that you understand the value and impact of these alternative means of travel. But if you do not use public transportation, you may be less inclined to understand fully the impact that public transit has on your life.

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