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

Daytona Beach roller coaster derails, injures nine

Arizona residents may know about the roller coaster accident in Daytona Beach, Florida. On the night of June 14, one of the roller coasters at Daytona Beach Boardwalk partially derailed, sending two riders into the air where they fell 34 feet to the ground and suffered traumatic injuries. Two other riders were left dangling in midair. Of the 10 riders involved, 9 were sent to the hospital with news of their current condition still forthcoming.

It appears that the Sand Blaster, the roller coaster in question, had a deficiency in its structural integrity, but what it was exactly has not been revealed. This is per an inspection made after the incident. An inspection made the morning of the accident, however, revealed nothing problematic. In May, two inspections did bring up structural problems, which were afterwards fixed.

Drivers turning to technology to prevent distracted driving

Distracted driving continues to be a major danger in Arizona throughout the nation. However, a survey found that most drivers are willing to use technology that's designed to stop them from becoming distracted while behind the wheel.

The survey, which was sponsored by the National Safety Council, asked 2,400 American drivers if they would use technology that blocked some calls and messages while they were driving. Around 55 percent of the survey's participants said they would not deactivate such technology if it came pre-set in their vehicles.

Nasal spray recall highlights risks caused by packaging failures

When you go to the store to purchase something, you expect that the items available for sale are safe for consumer use. Most products are generally safe, but problems do occur that can put consumers at risk. Supply materials, e.g., ingredients, could wind up contaminated with something that could make people sick. Issues with machinery can result in sub-standard production runs. There are infinite possible ways that products can create liabilities for consumers.

There are practices that can nearly eliminate the risk to consumers. Having professional testers and inspectors watch for serious issues is one. Routine chemical testing of raw materials and end products can ensure there are no issues with contamination. Sadly, some businesses choose to prioritize profits over customer safety, and they cut corners when it comes to safety-testing and product inspection.

The similarities between drowsy and drunk driving

According to a recent survey, approximately 60 percent of adults in Arizona and the rest of the U.S. have driven drowsy at least once. Even worse, a third say that they have fallen asleep while behind the wheel. The dangerous trend of drowsy driving contributes to many accidents. In fact, a lack of sleep can produce effects similar to those of alcohol intoxication.

For comparison, a person who drives after 18 straight hours of wakefulness will exhibit behavior similar to a driver with a .05 percent blood-alcohol content. After 24 consecutive hours, it's as if someone with .10 percent BAC is driving. The legal limit in the U.S. is .08 percent.

Coverage of Tesla self-driving car crash provokes controversy

Arizona residents may remember that in March, an Uber-owned self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian. It caused Uber to pull all of its self-driving cars in this state. A recent self-driving car crash, this time in Utah, has created controversy of a different kind.

The driver of a Tesla Model S crashed into a fire truck while looking down at her phone, suffering a broken ankle in the process. The Autopilot program was on the whole time. The wide news coverage that the crash received, and not so much the crash itself, has led to criticism from the Tesla CEO along with Tesla supporters. They argue that it's wrong for such a minor incident to become front-page news when hundreds of people die each day in other more serious accidents.

Operation Safe Driver Week scheduled for June 15 to 21

Drivers in Arizona and across the nation should be aware that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has scheduled its Operation Safe Driver Week for June 15. This annual event is a collaboration between the CVSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and various transportation safety organizations. The Operation Safe Driver Program was created as part of the effort to reduce highway injuries and fatalities on America's roads.

The FMCSA has stated that unsafe driving behavior is the leading cause of all highway crashes. It is to blame for 93 percent of all large truck crashes and 88 percent of crashes with passenger vehicles. During Operation Safe Driver Week, the CVSA and local enforcement personnel will be cracking down on all forms of unsafe driving, including texting while driving, improper lane changes and failure to obey traffic control devices.

Distracted driving among truckers and how to reduce it

Addiction to smartphones, in-car entertainment systems and other forms of technology continue to impact the way drivers in Arizona act behind the wheel. The trend in distracted driving is especially high among commercial truck drivers, which should be of concern to everyone on the road because truck accidents are usually serious, if not fatal, for the victims.

This is where data and technology can come in and help reduce incidences of distracted driving. For example, the fleet management systems company Omnitracs has created a web-based tool called Driving Center that can detect signs of fatigued or distracted driving among truckers and predict crashes based on hours-of-service data. The data analysis firm Zendrive can also predict driver risk for the benefit of fleets and their insurers by reviewing information from smartphones.

Reasons to consider firing your trustee

If you have a trust set up to protect your estate, then you almost certainly also have at least one trustee appointed to oversee that trust and manage the underlying assets that you chose to place in it. Unfortunately, trustees are all human and fallible, and may make choices that disappoint you or violate your good faith in them.

Should you find yourself displeased with the performance of your trustee, it is time to consider relieving him or her of their position. This choice does not have to take an ugly, personal turn for the worse, nor does it have to rely only on financial matters. A trustee has several responsibilities, but chief among them is carrying out your wishes and abiding by the guidelines you lay out for the trust and the estate it protects. If the trustee fails to meet your expectations, then you do not have to keep him or her in the position.

Technology could eliminate traffic accident deaths by 2050

Arizona motorists might not know that traffic accidents around the country kill an average of about 100 road users each day, but that figure would be reduced to zero if a coalition of federal agencies and road safety organizations achieve their goal. The Road to Zero Coalition is managed by the National Safety Council and backed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration. It is also supported by more than 650 advocacy groups, trade associations and insurers.

The plausibility of completely eliminating accident fatalities by 2050 has been questioned by several observers who point out that road deaths increased sharply in both 2015 and 2016 despite major advances in automobile safety technology. The Road to Safety Coalition addressed these doubts and provided a road map for achieving their goals in an April 22 report. The group says that it supports tougher road safety regulations and vigorous law enforcement, and it hopes that public information campaigns will draw attention to negligent behavior that kills thousands of Americans each year.

Texting while driving most common during peak travel times

According to the developer of the Drivermode app, motorists send more texts during afternoon rush hours than other times of the day. The data suggests that the number of messages sent at these peak travel times might be a cause for concern. Because the study results illuminate a trend that could apply to the population at large, drivers in Arizona and other states may want to know more.

Nationally, the average driver logged 6.87 text messages per hour during the afternoon rush-hour commute. Averages for drivers in 10 states, including New York, Hawaii and Florida, are even higher. Standard SMS made up almost half of the Android messaging sessions that were studied. Facebook Messenger accounted for 20.7 percent, while WhatsApp was the third most widely used messaging service. Drivers sent the most texts between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. In all, 6.5 million messages were studied.

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