Timothy J. Casey Attorney at Law
Representing Clients In Phoenix And Communities Throughout Arizona

Arizona Personal Injury Blog

Drowsy driving a serious issue in ridesharing industry

The ridesharing industry in Arizona, as elsewhere, comes with some inherent safety risks, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Many ridesharing drivers, compelled by low fares and salary incentives, drive after extended periods of wakefulness and run the risk of becoming sleep-deprived. This means more cases of drowsy driving.

Every year in the U.S., drowsy driving contributes to an average of 328,000 car crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. About 109,000 of these result in injuries, and 64,000 are fatal. Reducing fatigue-related accidents is among the top 10 critical changes that the National Transportation Safety Board wants to see.

Study shows how short-term stress leads to surgical errors

Before undergoing surgery, Arizona residents should know about the widespread problem of stress among doctors. Researchers at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University found that short-term stress can raise the risk for surgical errors by as much as 66 percent.

For the study, researchers had a surgeon wear a Hexoskin Smart Shirt under his scrubs as he performed several procedures. The smart shirt, designed for athletes during their workouts, recorded electrical impulses from the heat and allowed researchers to determine momentary stress levels based on heart-rate variability statistics.

Nursing home abuse isn't always obvious. Know the signs.

Your loved one needs someone to care for them, and you put them in a nursing home with the expectation that they'll get proper care and assistance every single day. You want them to be safe, healthy and happy. It's what you expect and what they deserve.

However, you're well aware that your loved one is very vulnerable. Due to their age and possible physical or mental troubles, the care workers are in a position of power. Hopefully, they respect this and use their position to make your loved one's life better. But you know that abuse and neglect do happen.

Tips for drivers to help keep bicyclists safe

Like in many major cities, the traffic in Phoenix can be loud, fast and overwhelming. When you are focusing on driving alongside large trucks and semis, it can sometimes be difficult to notice when a cyclist is in your corner. Making one poor judgment call on the road can quickly lead to an unnecessary collision.

Although accidents may happen unexpectedly, many collisions are the result of negligent driving or cycling. There are habits you can practice as a driver to help keep the road safe for both you and any cyclists you encounter. Keep in mind the following tips the next time you are on the road:

Accident rates increase for dump and concrete delivery trucks

Bad driving habits are a widespread issue in the trucking industry. Many truckers in Arizona, as elsewhere, feel that it's fine to speed, drive while using their cell phone and drive in a drowsy state of mind. Others may grow negligent because they are urged on by the promise of by-the-load incentives. Unfortunately, these habits are largely behind the increase in truck accidents.

Dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks have respectively seen a 9 and 9.6 percent rise in the number of serious accidents. This is according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that compared accident rates between 2015 and 2016, the latest year for which complete data is available. There were 8,206 dump truck accidents so serious that the truck was towed away. Tow-away accidents among concrete trucks numbered 838 in 2016.

Strategies to stay safe near aggressive drivers

Road rage can happen at any time when driving on Arizona roads or any others throughout the country. Those who encounter aggressive drivers are encouraged to do whatever it takes to handle the situation in a calm manner. If a person is driving on a highway with multiple lanes, it is a good idea to change lanes as soon as it is safe to do so.

If it is not possible to make a lane change, it is a good idea to create some space between vehicles. It is not a good idea to make eye contact with or use rude gestures toward other drivers on the highway. Furthermore, it rarely makes sense to honk the horn or take other actions toward a person who is acting in a rude or aggressive manner on the road. When in a parking lot, it is generally easier to find another space than to waste time fighting with someone over a spot both drivers prefer.

2018 road safety report from WHO finds traffic deaths on the rise

The World Health Organization has released its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety. One of its most startling finds is that traffic accidents now make up the eighth biggest cause of death worldwide, above both HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Globally, they are the leading cause of death among those aged 5 to 29. While most Arizona residents only have to contend with negligent drivers, low-income countries are also plagued with many poor road conditions.

Though only 1 percent of the world's traffic crashes occur in low-income countries, 13 percent of the fatal ones occur in them. Africa and Southeast Asia see the highest fatality rates with 26.6 and 20.7 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively. Europe sees the lowest with 9.3 per 100,000 people. Also, more than half of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

ZF has reassuring data on the effectiveness of external airbags

Arizona residents who keep up with advances in vehicle safety technology may have heard about manufacturers working on external airbags. The ZF Group has come out with reassuring safety data as well as a strategy for implementing such technology. As with self-driving cars, it will take a while for ZF and other manufacturers to perfect the technology; after that, it will take longer for the airbags to become standard.

External airbags have been estimated to reduce the severity of occupant injuries by as much as 40 percent, so there is good reason for their production to move forward. ZF's external airbag models go on the sides of a car and act as an extra crumple zone, absorbing the impact in a side collision.

Small business owners and slip-and-fall accident issues

Small business owners in Arizona may be held legally responsible if someone slips and falls on their business premises. While mid-size companies and larger corporations may be able to handle such issues without too much of an impact on their bottom line, litigation of this nature can quickly become costly for businesses with limited resources. For this reason, small business owners are routinely encouraged to take proactive steps to reduce their odds of having to deal with potentially costly lawsuits.

Slip-and-fall accidents broadly fall under the category of premises liability, which means that a business owner may have to pay expenses related to an injured party's medical bills and lost wages. Small business owners aren't entirely without certain legal protections when allegations of a slip-and-fall injury are made. For instance, an injured party must prove that their injuries were the result of dangerous conditions a business owner knew about. Someone who slipped because of their own careless behavior might not be able to recover compensation.

Common causes of truck accidents: There are many risks out there

Commercial trucks are everywhere. From the highway to the city streets, there is no way to avoid these vehicles when you take to the road.

Even if you're used to sharing the road with large trucks, it's important to remember this: Truckers don't always take a high level of caution when driving, which increases the likelihood of an accident.

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