Roadway deaths in the United States rose 5.3 percent last year, to 34,080. It is the first year there has been an increase in traffic fatalities since 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Roadway deaths had steadily decreased each year since 2005, dropping by about 26 percent from 2005 to 2011, when 32,367 people died on the nation’s roads.
The jump had been widely expected, as more people are taking to the roadways as the economy improves. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that vehicle miles traveled in 2012 increased by 9.1 billion miles -- a 0.3 percent rise. The fatality rate -- which is number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled -- is projected to rise to 1.16 (from 1.10).
Crash fatalities were up for every quarter of 2012 compared with 2011, the NHTSA says. The estimate did not provide a breakdown of fatalities among roadway users.
“The news, while disheartening, is not surprising,” said Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “With the improving economy and historically low levels of motor vehicle deaths in recent years, we expected deaths to increase. Highway deaths have been declining significantly in recent years.”
Harsha said her organization is especially concerned about increasing road deaths among motorcyclists. The group recently projected that about 5,000 motorcyclists died in 2012, which would be a 14.7 percent jump over the previous year -- the biggest percentage increase ever. “A comprehensive strategy is needed to keep motorcyclists safe,” she said. “Most crucial in this strategy are universal helmet laws, which 31 states currently lack.”
The region with the biggest percentage increase in road deaths was the Northeast -- comprising Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; traffic fatalities in the region jumped more than 15 percent.
NHTSA is continuing to gather data on crash deaths from police reports and other sources, but its early estimates are usually an accurate projection.
With the economy improving, we agree that this news is not surprising. In the last few years, the number of accidents in Arizona has dropped significantly.
When people don’t have as much to spend, they don’t got out as much—shopping, meals, entertainment, etc… . Less cars on the road means less traffic interaction and less accidents.
While an improved economy is certainly welcome, no one relishes the mishaps and tragedies that come with it.
We all need to keep in mind that an accident can happen at any time. Presently, teaching my 15 year old to drive, I am getting a great refresher course on watching traffic and defensive driving. Maybe we all need a refresher course.
Arizona personal injury law has several common principles
that are generally applicable even though every case is different and needs to
evaluated separately. One of those principles is the idea of negligence, which
has been defined as conduct which falls below the standard established by law
for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. This standard
of behavior can be created in several ways, and when it is created by a statute
or regulation, it creates a legal category known as negligence per se.
More formally, negligence per se applies if someone (1)
violates a statute, and (2) causes harm to a person who was (3) within the
group of people intended to be protected by the statute, and (4) the harm was
the sort of harm the statute was created to prevent. If any one of these four elements
is absent, the person who violated the statute is not negligent per se, though
they may still be negligent.
In nearly every Arizona personal injury case, it is
necessary for an injured person (the plaintiff) to prove that the person
responsible for their injuries (the defendant) acted unreasonably. If the
plaintiff can establish the four elements of negligence per se, however, the
law presumes that the defendant was negligent.
To see when negligence per se could apply, consider two
hypothetical Arizona personal injury cases. In Case A, a child is riding his
bicycle on the sidewalk in a town that has a regulation which restricts the
sidewalks to pedestrian traffic only. The boy strikes a pole owned by the city
that was in an unsafe place and suffers serious injuries. In this case, if the
boy sues the city, he should expect the court to rule that he was comparatively
negligent per se because he violated the town's regulation (element 1), caused
harm (element 2), to a person who was meant to be protected by the statute,
which in this case would include bicyclists because the idea of the regulation
was that the sidewalks are safe only for foot traffic (element 3) and the
bicycle crash was the sort of accident the rule was meant to prevent (element
In Case B, a rental car agency rents a car to a driver whom
the agency knows does not have a driver's license, in violation of a state
statute. That driver later drives drunk and injures a third party. In a lawsuit
by the third party against the rental agency, the court would probably rule
that the agency was not negligent per se. Although they did violate the law
(element 1) and, at least debatably, cause harm (element 2), it's unlikely the
victim can prove elements 3 and 4. The purpose of the statute prohibiting
renting a car to someone without a valid license was to keep unlicensed drivers
off the road, not to ensure that people driving stayed sober behind the wheel.
Of course, it might still be that the agency was unreasonable in renting a car
to someone they knew had no license to drive, in which case the victim could
It is crucial to understand that Arizona personal injury law
with regard to what constitutes negligence per se is very particularized. It is
important to have the guidance of an Arizona personal injury lawyer with
extensive experience in all kinds of accidents, to assure that you get the
compensation you deserve. To speak with a professional attorney,
call Zachar Law Firm at (602) 494-4800 or visit www.zacharassociates.com.
You may think you are saving time and even being nice by not
involving the police after you’ve been involved in an accident, even if the
accident seems small. But what happens days or weeks later down the road?
The involved parties are generally nicer at the scene. In addition, the excitement (adrenaline) from the accident often masks
pain and injury.
Insurance companies use police reports to help settle
disputes in almost every single claim that is brought their way. A detailed
police report can be very useful for you especially if the other driver was at
fault for the accident in the first place.
But, if a case goes to trial, accident reports and citations
are inadmissible. Why?
This can actually work in your favor, and in protection of
the truth. A police report can sometimes have errors and is most often based on
the judgment of a single officer who didn’t see the accident.
human. They can get it wrong. Likewise, a citation stemming from
the accident isn’t admissible evidence to prove any sort of negligence.
and juries hear evidence, and make the decisions. If the police report or
citation was admissible, it would likely render the officer both judge and
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you’re on a night out on the town or merely having a casual dinner at a
restaurant, the last thing you may be expecting is getting injured. As a
result, you may be unprepared when an accident occurs, and unsure of what to do
once you have sustained an injury.
Receiving compensation from the owner of a
bar or restaurant is especially complex. A slip and fall accident in a bar or
restaurant has many factors to take into consideration: Conditions,
number of patrons, design, maintenance and atmosphere. Many bars or restaurants
try to set a certain mood by having a dark atmosphere and extravagant designs.
However, the atmosphere and design may pose inherent risks for injury. An
experienced slip and fall lawyer in Arizona should be contacted immediately in
the event of a slip and fall accident in a bar or restaurant, to ensure that a
proper investigation is completed.
A slip and fall, or premises liability case, requires the showing that the owner
of the bar or restaurant was legally responsible for causing the injury. This
can be shown by proving that the owner was responsible for the dangerous
condition that caused the injury, or that owner knew about the dangerous
condition with enough time to fix it, but did nothing.
Even though the
liability for an injury may seem clear, most bar and restaurant owners will do
anything they can to avoid paying compensation, especially if the injury you
suffered was serious. For example, the bar or restaurant owner may claim that
you were drunk or did not seem injured following the accident.
of the most common types of injury that occur at a restaurant or bar is an
injury resulting from slipping on a wet floor and falling to the ground. If
it can be proved that the owner knew about the dangerous condition and failed
to clean it up or place the proper warning signs within a reasonable amount of
Proving that the owner was negligent and that your actions did not
contribute to the accident are important. Thus, consultation with a slip
and fall lawyer in Arizona should occur immediately following the accident to
ensure that you are in the best position possible.
you or a loved one are injured in a slip and fall accident at a bar or restaurant,
it is essential that you contact a qualified slip and fall lawyer in Arizona to
assist you in pursuing a claim against the owner and ensure that you receive
the just compensation you deserve.
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The bed of a pickup truck is a very dangerous place to ride,
especially in Arizona because of the high rate of accidents. The beds of
pickup trucks are designed to carry cargo, not people. They are not designed to
provide protection in the event of a crash. Children and adults can
be easily ejected from pickup beds even at relatively low speeds as a result of
a sharp turn or sudden acceleration or braking. In the event of an
accident, individuals riding in the bed of a truck are afforded little to no
safety protection and the chance and severity of injuries increase
significantly. Far too often, pick-up trucks are
involved in rollover accidents, and riding in the bed of a pickup can lead to
serious injury or even death.
it against the law to ride in the back of a pickup truck in Arizona?
Arizona law does not currently address the issue of persons riding in the
bed of a motor vehicle. 30 states and the District of Columbia address the
issues by a variety of laws, but Arizona is not among these states. Generally,
a pickup truck driver and the individuals riding in the bed of the truck are
not in violation of any state law and cannot be cited. However, a police
officer is allowed to stop and issue a verbal warning to a person driving a
pickup truck on a highway that is transporting a person in the bed of a pickup
truck. Also, if the police officer determines that an individual in the bed of
the truck is under the age of 18, they are required to issue a written warning.
would you need a personal
injury Arizona attorney in accidents involving passengers riding in the
bed of a pickup truck?
injury attorney in Arizona is imperative because these types of accidents
are especially complex. If you are riding in the back of a pickup truck and the
truck is involved in an accident, it is likely that the lawyer hired by the
insurance company or defendant will argue that it is your fault that you were
riding in the bed of the pickup truck. Compensation
for personal injury claims is often greatly reduced in settlements and verdicts
as a result of the fault placed upon these victims for failing to wear a
seatbelt or for assuming the risk of riding in a pick-up bed. A personal injury Arizona attorney
that is experienced will be able to ensure that your settlement or verdict is
not reduced and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
cases involving passengers in the bed of a pickup truck can be especially
complex, so it crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable personal injury Arizona attorney
to discuss your options. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a
result of an accident involving passengers in the bed of a pickup truck,
contact an experienced personal
injury Arizona attorney at Zachar Law Firm. (602) 494-4800 or www.zacharassociates.com
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