Articles Posted in Car Accidents

IMG_5987-300x169Every 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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112116If you drive in Arizona, you are charged with the knowledge of all applicable traffic laws and rules in the areas in which you drive. If you are like a typical driver in Maricopa County, odds are that you drive through a school zone on a regular basis. The rules of a school zone tend to vary from the rules applicable to the surrounding areas and if you fail to heed the school zone rules, you may face a traffic ticket, criminal charge, or even be responsible for causing an accident that harms a child.

School zones in the Phoenix area tend to be marked with a 15 mile per hour speed limit during morning and afternoon school hours. Drivers are required to slow their speeds, if necessary, before entering a marked school zone and must keep their speeds at or below the posted speed limit until after they exit the school zone. School zone speed limits tend to only be active during school days and therefore do not apply during marked hours on the weekends or over school breaks.

Crosswalks in school zones should be approached with extreme caution as drivers are required to stop if any pedestrian is present in the area. This means that even if an adult is entering a crosswalk on the other side of the street, a driver must stop before entering the crosswalk and may not proceed until the crosswalk is clear.

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Hundreds of thousands of drivers get in their cars and take to the roads in Maricopa County every day. Few of them wonder whether their safety will be adversely affected by roads that are poorly designed or badly maintained, but unfortunately, car accidents happen every year due to these exact conditions.

Pot holes, debris, poorly done construction work, and design flaws are some of the many ways that a road, highway, or street can be blamed for a collision. In some cases, the road’s poor condition contributes to a crash while in others, the road causes the crash entirely.

A recent incident in Mesa on U.S. 60 is bringing renewed attention to the safety of roads and highways in Maricopa County as several motorists found themselves suffering from damages due to faulty conditions. Over the weekend, the Arizona Department of Transportation closed the HOV and two to three leftmost lanes of eastbound traffic due to issues with the road surface. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that tension joints from the road were sticking up through the road’s surface, contacting passing vehicles and causing them damage. Some collisions were reported and were blamed on the tension joint failures.

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102616The forces involved in a car accident can result in injuries to any part of the body, but certain areas are more vulnerable than others for harm. Among commonly injured body parts is the spinal column and the tissue surrounding it, manifesting itself in neck and back injuries. While the nature of a specific injury may vary, the pain caused by them are often the same and regularly severe.

The spine is commonly divided into sections to describe the portion of the spine involved. The cervical spine begins at the base of the neck and extends for seven bones, or vertebrae, down to the upper back. Below the cervical spine is the thoracic spine, the portion of the backbone that stretches from the upper back to the lower middle back and is made up of 12 vertebrae. The lower spine is called the lumbar spine and it begins immediately after the thoracic spine and extends for five vertebrae and ends at the sacrum, a portion of the spine that incorporates five fused vertebrae and that connects the spinal column to the hip bones.

The vertebrae that comprise the spine have a hollow center which allows for passage of the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that is responsible for transmitting information from the brain to most parts of the body and back. It is critically important that the spine maintains its integrity so that the spinal cord maintains protected. Any disruption to this part of the body can cause serious harm, including paralysis, and may even cause death.

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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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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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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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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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121015(3)Car accidents can take one or more of several dozen forms. They may be single car collisions or involve dozens of vehicles, depending on the impacts involved. Some are considered minor fender-benders where everyone involved can walk away uninjured while others turn tragic as one or more people lose their lives.

Among all the common types of car accidents, though, one happens more often than the rest. A rear-end car accident has been and continues to be the most common form of crash that happens in Arizona and the Phoenix area is far from immune from these incidents.

A rear-end accident happens when the front end of one vehicle crashes into the rear end of the vehicle in front of the first. It can happen on any type of road and in any conditions but areas prone to stop-and-go traffic and the areas immediately before stop lights and stop signs tend to see a high number of rear-end crashes.

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IMG_4802If you work, have children, or like to socialize, you probably cannot avoid being out of the house during dark hours. It may be a regular occurrence that leads you to experience transportation at night or a rare evening away but regardless, if you drive, ride a bicycle, or walk when it is dark, you should realize that your safety is at a greater risk than it is during the day.

The reasons that night driving is associated with increased risk of car accidents are myriad and complex and include the fact that many people who drink and drive do so in the overnight hours. While some people drink during the daytime, it is much more common for people to drink later and to act in a negligent manner after drinking. This leads to thousands of drunk driving accidents every year in Arizona.

Most people have decreased vision at night when compared to their daytime vision which means that they have less ability to notice road hazards and changing traffic conditions. Further, if people cannot see as far in front of them at night, they will have less time to slow or stop their car if a problem does arise.

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