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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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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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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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If 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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Newcomers to the Valley were likely in for a bit of a shock yesterday as a substantial dust storm rolled into parts of the Phoenix area and affected a good portion of Maricopa County. Arriving from the south and striking yesterday evening, it was not long before the dust storm covered an area reportedly stretching from Casa Grande and Maricopa north beyond Camelback Mountain.

Officials are still determining the extent of the damage caused by the reduced visibility, wind, and rain that accompanied the storm but early reports indicate that several flights were delayed at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, several owners experienced property damage, and at least one car accident is being blamed on the conditions.

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Uber is becoming a more and more popular means of transportation in Maricopa County, including in the city of Phoenix and the areas that surround it. Uber, a ride share service where a private driver picks up a passenger based on the passenger’s request through an app, lets people get from one place to another without worrying about where they will park, whether they have enough gas, or even if they know the best route to take to their destination.

While Uber offers a lot of benefits, it also poses a number of threats to its passengers who may or may not consider their own safety before they enter a car. Uber vehicles are involved in an increasingly large number of car accidents every year and passengers are being seriously hurt in a number of those collisions.

If you use Uber, hopefully your experience will be accident-free and you will never have to learn about the legal process that accompanies these crashes. But if you are unlucky and you are involved in a crash, keep the following in mind:

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A significant monsoon struck the greater Phoenix area yesterday and caused significant damage across much of the Valley of the Sun, stranding motorists in some areas and leaving others with limited options to get home. The rain was so strong that central Phoenix saw up to two inches of rainfall in an hour and led authorities to caution motorists to avoid driving if at all possible.

Monsoons are a part of life for many who live in Arizona during this time of year. However, though they are often anticipated, they can pop up with little warning or be much more damaging than expected, catching many off guard and leading to significant problems and damages across Maricopa County.

What if you are involved in a car accident before, during, or after a monsoon? What happens if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, or a motorcyclist who is struck by a car and you are injured? These are all good questions to know in case your life is affected by a crash, though hopefully it will never happen to you.

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We are still in the middle of summer where temperatures seem to be triple-digits more often than not. The weather forecast for today and tomorrow in Phoenix calls for highs around 113 degrees Fahrenheit which seems warm but almost normal this time of year. If you have lived in Arizona for any length of time, odds are that you understand how to cope with the oppressive heat you experience and that you know summer is something that just needs to be survived until fall arrives. However, while people think about the safety of themselves, their children, and the need to be in air conditioning, they give less consideration to the effect that extremely hot temperatures can play on their vehicles and on their ability to drive safely.

One of the biggest driving-related risks that arise as temperatures climb is the risk for a tire blowout or tire failure. As temperatures tend to increase, the air pressure inside of a tire increases in response, leading the air to expand and the tire to inflate. This increased pressure and inflation can lead to greater friction between a tire and the road surface it encounters and the friction, especially when combined with increased speeds, can cause a tire to blow with little or no warning.

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It is critically important for those in the Valley to move about the public roadways in a safe and efficient manner. Traffic in and around Phoenix can be brutal at times and even a small backup can have major consequences. The State of Arizona has taken numerous steps to address these issues in recent years and the creation of the Loop 202 was an important move towards better traffic flow.

Presently, the Loop 202 helps to connect potions of the Valley from I-10 in the west to the west of Apache Junction in the east. Various portions of the Loop 202 are known as the Red Mountain Freeway, Santan Freeway, and South Mountain Freeway but all sections provide the same goal: moving heavy amounts of traffic in and around the Phoenix metro area.

With the introduction of a large load of traffic has unfortunately come a significant number of car accidents both on and near the Loop 202. This leads to an often asked question that is not well answered among drivers: what can motorists do to ensure their personal safety?

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This time of year is always an interesting one to live in Phoenix. We not only get the pleasure of temperatures that often fail to dip below 100 degrees Fahrenheit but we also face a serious threat of monsoons striking with little notice. A monsoon can form during the summer in Arizona when there is a variance of temperatures between the water and the land. As Arizona does not have a ton of water itself, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California have a lot to do with our weather.

Several monsoons have hit in and around Maricopa County this week and consumers are feeling the fallout of these events. One storm on Wednesday night left more than 2,000 customers without power in the San Tan Valley and caused some localized flooding and other road-related safety issues.

With monsoon season here, it is a good idea to think about what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.

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