Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog – Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
If you’re not hanging out at home or rushing kids through the neighborhood on foot in search of candy this Halloween, chances are you’re going to be out driving, and if that’s the case, there’s no reason that you have to be involved in an Arizona pedestrian accident. But protecting yourself from being involved in a serious accident with a single trick or treater, or a full group of ghouls and goblins, can be a bit tricky. After all, there will be more kids of all ages and sizes out on the streets throughout the evening and into the darkest hours of the night and early morning, and many of them may be wearing dark costumes, making them difficult to see, even if you’re paying close attention. Having a good plan for driving safely while maneuvering through a sea of trick or treaters is not just a good idea, but also an important component of having a fun night out on Halloween.
Halloween is a spooky super fun time of year, but if you have to worry about Arizona trick or treating and pedestrian safety the whole time, it won’t be as fun for you or for your kids. Getting your safety plan together ahead of time can help to ensure that you and your kids have a great time collecting candy, scaring up fun around the neighborhood, and getting into the Halloween spirit.
The Arizona Trucking Association (ATA) took the initiative by recently instituting their “Share the Road” program which is being funded through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The trucking industry in Arizona is using this program to demonstrate a commitment to sharing the roadways safely along with all vehicles. One aspect of the Share the Road program uses industry veterans to reach out to passenger vehicle drivers in the local communities to engage them on safety topics. Recent topics associated with best practices included: truck blind spots, stopping distances, and making lane changes in efforts to heighten awareness and reduce dangerous accidents.
If attending a college or university in Arizona from out-of-state it is important to be aware of the local safety and traffic-related laws.
Licensing and Insurance
Those who are in Arizona exclusively for the purposes of attending school are considered an “out-of-state student”, meaning they are enrolled in seven or more semester hours of coursework. Those classified as such, are not considered Arizona residents, even if employed within the state. The state does however require the following individuals to obtain an Arizona driver’s license:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent organization that is tasked with gathering, reporting and analyzing the data associated with accidents on US roadways. In the most recent report, which is based on data for 2014, the statistics for Arizona certainly illustrated some grim results. In 2014, Arizona had 705 auto crashes that resulted in a fatality on its roads, which equates to just over eleven traffic-related deaths for every 100,000 people in the state. The reality is that the vast majority of the fatalities could have been prevented, and the family members and loved ones of those who perished have been largely impacted.
Large commercial trucks are vehicles on our roadways with the capability of causing accidents of catastrophic levels due to their size and weight. These vehicles are commonly referred to as “semi-trailers” or “tractor-trailers” and are a crucial aspect of our economy, as they transport the products and goods that we all use. The danger associated with these trucks is that while the weight of a passenger vehicle averages approximately 4,000 pounds, these trucks can often weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and have considerable less maneuverability and braking speed. Studies indicate that when there is fatal accident involving both a passenger car and a truck, that 9 out of 10 times the occupant in the passenger car is the person killed.
An alarming trend that has emerged recently in the US is the increased number of cases where traffic accidents occur and one of the parties involved flees the scene, commonly referred to as a “hit-and-run” or “hit-skip” accident. The national average for automobile crashes that involve a hit-and-run is approximately 11%. There doesn’t seem to be data that suggests any clear pattern in the likelihood of certain segments that are more inclined to commit this crime, such as passenger car vs truck, or female compared to male. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of hit-and-run crashes involving a fatality is on the rise as follows:
- 2009: 1,274
- 2010: 1,393
- 2011: 1,449
When a passenger car has a collision with the massive semi-truck trailers on the roads today, the outcomes can be particularly serious. The maximum allowable weight for the large commercial trucks varies according to the number of axles that the vehicle has. A single axle unit has a 20,000 pound limit, while tandem axle has a 34,000 pound limit, and the full-sized vehicles weigh up to 80,000 pounds! A “head-on” collision occurs when a moving vehicle crosses a dividing-line or road median and collides with a vehicle moving the opposite direction in that lane. The other instance where a head-on accident can occur is when a vehicle enters a roadway going the wrong way, such as on a one-way street. The American Association of State Highway & Transportation has the following statistics concerning such collisions:
Those who regularly travel on Phoenix highways are sure to notice the presence of the large semi-trailer trucks. The trucking industry in the US is a vital segment of our economy, as we rely on it to transport a large portion of the goods that we consume. Here in Phoenix, the commercial trucking industry has a firmly established presence and is a strong force within many aspects of the overall economy. There are over 8,000 truck-transportation related companies in this state, and as a group, are estimated to employ slightly over 100,000 people. The American Transportation Research Institute illustrated the state’s dependence on the trucking industry by citing that over 85% of Arizona communities solely use trucks to transport their goods. With such a high volume of commercial truck activity, the potential for roadway accidents, particularly between the trucks and passenger cars is high.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were more than half a million trucks involved in major accidents on Arizona’s roads in 2014. Not only is that higher than the number of passenger vehicle accidents (109,554 in total in 2014), but truck accidents are also much more severe and can cause serious injury, or even death. Because of this, most truck accident victims need to be hospitalized for some time, miss work, and in many cases, watch their hospital bills pile up. So, who’s to pay for a truck accident in Phoenix- the trucker’s insurance company or yours? Read the rest »