A Phoenix man has been charged with aggravated assault and endangerment for his role in a multi-vehicle Arizona car accident that left a pregnant woman seriously injured. According to a local news source, the man admitted to using multiple different types of drugs in the hours leading up to the crash, but claims he was distracted from trying to retrieve his cell phone that had fallen in between the seats when he ran a red light and collided with another vehicle. Both the man and his passenger, a woman who was nine months pregnant, were ejected from the vehicle and suffered injuries resulting from the crash, but no other drivers or passengers were injured, according to the article.

The man’s admitted drug use may have played a role in law enforcement’s decision to charge him with felony assault for his passenger’s injuries, although intoxication is not a prerequisite for serious criminal charges to be pursued against reckless parties involved in an accident. Intoxication from drugs and alcohol contributes to thousands of Arizona car accidents that result in needless injuries and deaths each year. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to cause accidents for many reasons, including delayed reaction time, poor judgment, and the inability to remain conscious while under the influence. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs put the public at risk, and can be held liable in criminal as well as civil courts for their behavior. Distracted driving can also be charged as a crime, especially when an accident is caused by a driver being distracted by texting or using a cellphone while on the road.

In addition to criminal charges that drivers can face for causing an accident while intoxicated or distracted, they may also be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages related to a crash. With the help of an experienced attorney, injured parties can pursue an Arizona personal injury lawsuit to recover a settlement or jury verdict to compensate them for the medical bills, temporary and permanent disabilities, lost work, as well as pain and suffering and other damages. Personal injury lawsuits can be used to recover damages resulting from criminal conduct, as well as recklessness, or simple negligence.

Maricopa county roads are never completely safe, as drivers and pedestrians cannot anticipate when the another’s negligence might put them in jeopardy. According to a local news source, roads in recent weeks have been especially dangerous to the public. At least three people were killed and several more seriously injured in a minimum of eight serious accidents that occurred over one weekend this past August.

Many motorcyclists choose to brave the summer Phoenix heat and take to the road on two wheels for both commuting and pleasure riding. Arizona motorcyclists should always wear a helmet and be especially careful on Phoenix-area roads because negligent drivers commonly cause accidents that can seriously injure or kill motorcyclists. According to the report, three motorcyclists were seriously injured in accidents. In one accident, a woman who was suspected of driving while impaired failed to yield at a stop sign and struck a motorcyclist in a Phoenix intersection, critically injuring the motorcyclist and resulting in the woman’s arrest for aggravated assault and DUI.

Alcohol or drug use may have played a factor in several of the accidents, as noted in the article. Indeed, impaired driving is the cause of many injuries and deaths from Arizona car accidents every year. Alcohol and drugs negatively affect drivers’ reaction time and decision making, increasing the risk of a deadly accident. In another recent accident mentioned in the above-linked article, a woman and her child were struck by an allegedly impaired driver while crossing at a crosswalk in Glendale. The accident victim later died from her injuries. Drunk drivers who cause an accident resulting in injuries or deaths can be charged with crimes and also face civil liability for their actions through the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit on the victims’ behalf.

Semi-trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Arizona truck crashes are among the deadliest type of traffic accidents. Indeed, semi-truck accidents are responsible for a disproportionate number of Arizona traffic deaths. According to the most recent government data, while crashes involving tractor-trailers represent less than one percent of the total number of accidents, they are responsible for nearly five percent of the total number of fatalities.

There are several common causes of Arizona 18-wheeler accidents, including:

  • Distracted driving – Truck drivers all have radios, and many who spend countless hours on the road will frequently install televisions in the cab. While this may help pass the time, it also increases the risk of a distracted driving accident.
  • Intoxicated driving – In an effort to fight off fatigue or boredom, some truck drivers take illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications, any of which can adversely affect their judgment and ability to operate the truck safely.
  • Drowsy driving – Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, and often find themselves fighting off fatigue. Rather than pull over and rest, truckers too often push their bodies and minds past the limit of what is considered safe.
  • Equipment failure – Whether it be a blown tire, faulty brakes, or a burnt-out headlight, equipment failures are a common cause of Arizona truck accidents.

Like all motorists, truck drivers owe a duty of care to those with whom they share the road. This duty requires truckers to obey all traffic laws and posted traffic signs. While there is generally no legal duty to do so, drivers should take the necessary precautions when driving around semi-truck to avoid an accident. A few tips to keep in mind when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles are:

  • Stay out of the blind spot – Large trucks have blind spots on all sides of the vehicle, but most notably on both sides. Motorists should assume that a truck driver cannot see them unless the motorist can see the truck’s side-view mirrors.
  • Use care when passing – When passing a semi-truck, motorists should signal well in advance and give the truck ample room when returning to the lane.
  • Leave room – Large trucks can take up to several football fields to come to a complete stop, and a truck driver may need to make an evasive maneuver to avoid an accident.

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In recent years, there have been a large number of car accidents caused by wrong way drivers in the greater Phoenix area. Wrong way collisions are particularly dangerous as they often result in vehicles colliding head-on causing substantial damage to the front of each vehicle and often resulting in injuries to the drivers and passengers involved.

A wrong way accident occurs when a vehicle is traveling in a direction against the legal flow of traffic and strikes another vehicle or a fixed object. According to the Federal Highway Traffic Administration, wrong way crashes result in 300 to 400 fatalities every year across the nation.

Many of these accidents occur on highways, expressways, and their associated exit and entrance ramps. Thus, the vehicles involved in these collisions are often traveling at high speeds resulting in potentially deadly impacts. If the accident occurs during peak travel times, there is potential for a significant number of vehicles being involved in the crash.

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By the end of 2016, the analysis of accident data from 2015 revealed a scary statistic. Pedestrian deaths had increased by almost ten percent from 2014 to 2015 across the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2015 saw the greatest number of pedestrians killed since 1996, with 5,376 deaths nationwide. So, while travel appears to be getting safer for most road users, pedestrians were one of the few categories to see an increase in fatalities.

In 2015, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 1,399 pedestrian crashes in the state, resulting in 161 pedestrian deaths and 1,169 injuries.

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Spring break is a wonderful time for students – a week long reprieve from classes to rest up or have some fun.

While spring break should be a joyful time, the months of March and April see an uptick in accident rates. In 2015, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported 10,521 accidents occurred in March putting the month fourth highest for crashes.

While many students may leave town for break, just as many stick around to soak in the Arizona sunshine. As students are not in class it is likely campuses will be filled with more pedestrians. Drivers should use extra caution around campus and be alert for students during times when the area is not typically busy.

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Every February the state of Arizona receives an influx of athletic talent. Fifteen major league baseball teams, which form the Cactus League, call Arizona home during the late winter months for spring training. The teams are based all around the state including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Surprise, and Glendale. While spring training may appear to most to be a simple practice exercise, it is very big deal for baseball fans.

Throughout February and March fans can attend spring training games and observe practices. This gives fans an opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite players, sneak a peek at what the new season holds, and escape the winter weather that plagues most of the country.

In 2016, the Cactus League teams sold 1.8 million tickets. The fact that the 2016 World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs, hold their spring training in Arizona will likely increase these numbers for 2017. While this flood of tourism is very exciting for the state, increasing revenue and helping the economy, it can also contribute to an higher rate of motor vehicle accidents.

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Phoenix, Arizona, is home thirty school districts, which includes 325 public schools and over 200 charter and private schools. This means every morning and every afternoon countless children make their way to and from school. Thus, it is important for all residents to be aware of transportation dangers to ensure everyone on the road stays safe.

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The Valley of the Sun is known around the country for its beautiful landscape. The mountain backdrop, thirty miles of paved bike paths, and hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails make the Phoenix area one of the country’s prime destinations for bicyclists.

In fact, Arizona State University, located in Tempe, is ranked as one of the country’s top twenty bicycle friendly universities. ASU reports that 15,000 students use bicycles as transportation to and from campus everyday. The University is also home to one of the largest cycling clubs that provides a forum for all types bicycle riders and hosts various cycling races for students. The club participates in cycling competitions around the nation.

Tempe itself is known as one of the most bike friendly cities in America, receiving a Gold-Level Bicycle-Friendly Community award in 2015. Tempe is home to 175 miles of bikeways and has worked hard over recent years to provide safe bike lanes throughout urban areas to promote bicycling as a form of transportation in the city.

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Alcohol creates a myriad response in the bodies of those who drink. From slowed response rates to a tiredness that can onset quickly, these effects may have a dramatic effect among drivers who have been drinking. For these reasons and others, driving while intoxicated is illegal in every state in the nation and doing so can lead to significant consequences. Drunk driving car accidents cause billions of dollars in damages annually and Arizona suffers from these instances every week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol impairment is a factor in approximately 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. In 2014 alone, 9,967 people lost their lives in traffic collisions that involved alcohol impairment which is an average of more than 27 lives lost daily that year.

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