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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

Rules for driverless cars are slow to come by

It is well known that driver-less cars will be coming. The only question is when. A number of automakers are working diligently on prototypes, including Audi, Toyota and Mercedes Benz. In fact, Silicon Valley tech giant Google is also in the running for an autonomous car. In fact, automakers already have elements of self driving cars in today's vehicles such as adaptive cruise control, park assist functions and automatic braking functions.

While many automakers pledge to have fully autonomous cars by the end of the decade, that opportunity may not be up to them. State regulators must develop rules for the operation of autonomous vehicles, especially for testing, and these rules are slow to develop.

Before you head to the mountains, read this post

The ski season is going to start before we know it. People are going to start flocking to ski resorts in earnest after the Thanksgiving holiday. While winter driving safety tips don't apply for our readers in the Valley, they are important for those who love going to the mountains to enjoy what winter offers.

With that, this post will highlight a few tips to keep people safe on the road.

Crash leaves two dead, one facing criminal charges

The holiday driving season is weeks away, so Arizona drivers will likely begin seeing public service announcements bemoaning the practice of drunk driving. Of course, the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol are obvious. Alcohol affects a person’s motor skills and judgment; two things that are essential for safely operating a motor vehicle.

Nevertheless, there are a number of drivers who do not heed these warnings and drive drunk. Sometimes this can have disastrous consequences. Such was the case in an accident that occurred in Avondale early Sunday morning. According to an azcentral.com report, a driver who was reportedly impaired by alcohol crashed into another vehicle that was waiting for a light to change. 

HHTSA head calls for seatbelts in school buses

When parents put their children on a bus each day, they don't expect them to be involved in an accident. However, the reality is that accidents happen, and buses can be involved. We have heard many stories this year about how drivers have been inattentive and not mindful of traffic laws. With that, children on school buses have been put in harm's way.

Apparently federal regulators want to take steps to make sure that kids are safer in the event a crash. According to a recent ABC News.com report, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expected to make a push for new regulations that will call for seatbelts in school buses. Currently only six states, California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York have passed laws calling for seatbelts on school buses. 

How to preserve your rights after a car accident

No one actually plans to be in an accident.  Sometimes it is obvious that the other driver was in the wrong. In other instances, liability could essentially be a coin flip.

In either scenario, it is helpful to be able to preserve your right to recovery. As such, we offer the following tips that can help in preserving one's legal rights. 

The effect of moving violations in car accident cases

In these instances, investigators may look to whether a person was cited for a moving violation; such as speeding, an unsafe lane change or even improper use of a cell phone. In the liability analysis, a moving violation is important because it can be viewed as a prima facie (first look) case of negligence. Essentially, a citation can be seen as hard evidence that a driver failed to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and that such a failure was the proximate cause of the accident.

As such, if you have been in a crash, and you have reason to believe that the other driver was cited for a moving violation, chances are that it will help in establishing their negligence.

The preceding is not legal advice. Questions about a driver's rights and options should be brought to an experienced personal injury attorney

What parents should know about car seat safety

Part of being a parent is making sure that your children are safe. This is especially important when they get in the car (or you put them in the car). It may seem obvious that your child needs a car seat, but installing it and using it safely may be difficult for some parents to master.

The importance of using a car seat properly cannot be understated. Children in Arizona are 31 times more likely to be injured in a car accident if they are not properly fastened into their seat; or the seat is not properly secured. To avoid this disastrous scenario, parents and caretakers should take the following tips into consideration. 

Two important tips for Halloween revelers

This weekend is probably a kid’s favorite day of the year…aside from Christmas and the last day of school. Halloween is the annual day of frights and candy where kids dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating. While many people will take kids around their neighborhoods to get treats, Halloween is not just for the little ones. If the Party City commercials are any indication, adults will be going to many Halloween parties as well.

What is supposed to be a fun and festive day also has its dangers. It is no surprise that more pedestrian accidents are reported on Halloween night than other nights of the year. With that, there are a number of things pedestrians should be aware of that can keep them safe from car-pedestrian accidents. This post will highlight a couple. 

Truck catches fire on I-10

In our last couple of posts, we have highlighted how traffic accidents can shut down highways and cause miles of backups in the Phoenix metro area. Indeed, snarled traffic can be the bane of one’s existence when trying to get from point A to point B in the valley.

However, traffic accidents can be equally as troubling in rural areas. After all, since they are so far away from metro areas, first responders may have problems getting to these accidents. This may result in damage being more extensive to a truck or vehicle. 

Could your own negligence harm your car accident claim?

While heavy traffic during rush hour on weekdays is expected, such traffic can be utterly frustrating during the weekend. However, a serious car accident can lead to highways being limited to one lane or shut down completely as first responders help those who are injured.

Such was the case this weekend as a one car rollover accident shut down Interstate 17 at New River road. Authorities had closed the southbound lanes of the highway to allow medical helicopters to land and airlift an injured person to a local hospital. 

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization