Driving a vehicle requires the greatest concentration; however, too many drivers are distracted from their main activity, driving, by secondary activities.
There are many sources of distraction when a driver is driving his vehicle: eat or drink, smoke, wear makeup, remove his jacket or sweater … But today, society asks us to manage our time best, become a scarce resource. For most of us this means, among other things, being always reachable.
Being able to stay in permanent contact with one’s private or professional surroundings has become an absolute necessity. We often use the car as an extension of our living room or our office. Manufacturers, to meet or anticipate demand, are perfecting their systems. The temptation is therefore great to be distracted at the wheel by other activities. The recent worldwide rise in the use of mobile phones while driving poses more and more security problems.
A recent survey indicates that 2 out of 3 employees call during their business trips and only 20% do so only when stationary. Users underestimate very much the risk they are taking and are hurting others by using their phone while driving. Many believe that the danger lies in the physical manipulation of the phone – the fact of holding it in hand – and consider that the solution is to use a device built into the vehicle or helmet …
THREAT: THE DROP OF ATTENTION
Holding an object in hand will necessarily complicate the task of the driver to maneuver his steering wheel if he must avoid an obstacle that arises. He will do the necessary less well (if it happens) and with a delay. The problem is not limited to the action of the hand or its position on the steering wheel, but the danger comes mainly from the mental load that a remote conversation makes to the brain. The threat comes from lack of attention. When we are on the phone, 80% of the capacities of our brain are mobilized, the remote conversation induces automatic mechanisms of thought which make that our spirit projects itself, imagines the interlocutor, the place where it is, “sees his face” . In fact, we are elsewhere, and just capable of performing routine driving tasks, as if we were on autopilot. The results of a study show that people who phone while driving record 30% less information (no difference in test performance could be highlighted between the use of bluetooth, headset phone speaker or phone held against the ear).
TALKING, WRITING, TAKING PHOTOS: WELL, TOO RISKY!
The latest generation phones, like smartphones, are minicomputers that allow multiple uses:
Talk, the basic function of any phone. Write text messages and emails (26% of drivers do so, 51% among 25-34 year olds), use applications (programs, software, internet and social networks) or even set up a GPS (36% do it while driving) . Writing a text message makes a person not keep their eyes on the road for 5 seconds, if you drive at 90 km / h, the risk of accident is then multiplied by 23. For comparison if you drive with a rate of blood alcohol level of 0.8 g / l, this increases the risk by 10. Selfies are becoming a popular practice for young people, even at the wheel! According to a survey of Europeans aged 18 to 24, 1 out of 4 admits having taken a picture while driving (28% for the French) and 43% of French young people admit to taking pictures while driving.
Driving requires a permanent concentration to process and interpret a lot of information. A second carelessness can have dramatic consequences, especially when a traffic event occurs that the driver is supposed to detect, analyze and interpret, before reacting appropriately, all very quickly. Still, his attention must be fully available and not mobilized elsewhere. The “lack of attention” is at the origin of many accidents. The reaction time, which is one second if all goes well, is increased by several seconds (2 to 4 times more). The consequence is an extension of the stopping distance. At 50 km / h, with a reaction time of 1 second, we put 28 meters to stop in optimal conditions. With 2 seconds it will be 42 meters.
Other tasks are disrupted. For example, the time spent on the overtaking lane is significantly more important, due to a lower average speed and less frequent maneuvers.
REFLEXES TO ADOPT
“The omnipresence of mobile phones in everyday life is accompanied by a lack of self-regulation on the part of their users, even in situations where this risks are endangering them” analyzes Bernadette Moreau, General Delegate of the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation. Faced with this widespread practice, some simple reflexes deserve to be adopted by drivers:
Anticipate, better organize, stop: talk on the phone before taking the road, during breaks or pass the communication or the steering wheel to a third party when possible; inform your interlocutors: before the departure, activate a voice message indicating the impossibility of stopping in case of call; protect your interlocutors: when the person called is in a driving situation, systematically suggest him to call back.
TELEPHONE AND HEADPHONES: STRICTLY PROHIBITED
As part of an investigation, a requisition from the telephone operator may provide information on the use of the telephone (voice, SMS, internet) at the time of the accident. This may have consequences in the procedure (the lack of attention may be used as a circumstance of liability) and in the context of compensation by the insurance.
We all have some bad habits. But some of them have a high cost. When you are on the road, it’s not difficult to spot people who have dangerous driving habits. Sometimes it’s a lack of education about safe driving; sometimes it’s just poor driving habits. These people present danger to themselves as well as the others, passengers and pedestrians.
Or driving over the speed limit!
Without saying, you know it’s dangerous. Roads all over the world have speed limits, which take into consideration the condition of the way, the number of carriageways, and whether or not you’re driving within the pedestrian area.
Driving over the speed limit puts you and everyone around you at risk. If you get caught, you’re putting other passengers and other motorists at risk if you’re involved in a car accident. However, it’s pedestrians who bear the brunt of the dangers of speeding drivers. There’s a direct connection between pedestrian fatalities and speed!
Parking in Illegal Areas
Even though most parking areas are monitored closely, drivers continue to park where they shouldn’t — red zones, accessible parking spaces, clearly-marked legal parking hours and so on. Having your car towed can be expensive, so remember that when you have the urge to “park just for five minutes”!
Ignoring Traffic Signs
Do blow through the stop sign. Those signs are there for a reason, and if there’s no one around, you should obey them. You never know when a car or pedestrian might come out of nowhere or even cop!
Acceleration Through Yellow lights
There is an adventurer in every one of us. Sometimes we’re just exhilarating to speed up and catch the light. Often, we don’t make it, and you end up holding other drivers who have a green light. This habit can lead to significant collisions. Some lights are longer than others, so sometimes you think you have more time when the truth is that you don’t. Do the responsible thing and slow down when the light turns yellow if you’ve got room to stop.
Cell Phone Use
Many people use cell phones on a regular basis to keep in touch with business associates, friends or family. The only problem is, it’s tough to keep your eyes on the road while talking on a cell phone. Buy the hands-free device and set your phone so it’s accessible while driving.
Driving Too Slow
Some drivers and new drivers can operate at the same speed on the highway as they do in a residential area. It’s better to check speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly.
Not using Turn signals
This can be very dangerous. If you don’t tell other people where you’re going, how can you expect of them to know? Changing lanes or turning without signaling can put you in harm’s way. The worst situation is when drivers slow down to turn without putting their signal lights on. This can quickly catch the cars behind them of the guard.
Did you know that 3rd of all death cases around the Christmas season involves drunken driving? Even one or two drinks can impact your driving and cause extreme injury to you and others. In 2016 nearly 2,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had low blood alcohol level ((BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL). Even with the low school levels in the blood, it’s tough to multi-task. You will experience reduced coordination, visual impairment, slow reflexes. All of these potential symptoms make it harder to react in an emergency on the road. Don’t get yourself in a life-threatening position for you or your family. Safety first!
Make Plans Ahead of Time
It’s always important to plan your social events involving alcohol. We are assured that most the people are responsible but here are just a few tips to plan a safer holiday season: Always chose a designated driver if you’re going out with the group of friends before you start drinking. If you are hosting the party, ensure some non-alcohol beverages for your guests, and remind all guests about having a safe ride home! Call Uber or Taxi if you or your friend is too intoxicated to drive.
Keep your vehicle maintained
If you have a long road ahead of you, schedule some time with your mechanic to make sure everything’s covered: oil life, tire pressure, headlights, etc. An essential check is the brake check. Take care of any other repairs you may have been putting off. The last thing you want on a holiday weekend is to be stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow or someone to pick you up. Pack some snacks and lots of water. Pack an emergency or first aid kit. Update your GPS so its equipped with the latest maps.
Don’t drive Impaired
Even if you’re not drinking be aware of the dangers of driving without enough sleep. Around 72,000 accidents were caused by underslept drivers in 2013 by the CDC report. Don’t rely on energy drinks or caffeine to make up for the tired mind and body especially if you plan so mid-night trip. Make an effective plan to switch off drivers and even pulling off the road for a quick power-nap. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s drowsy and needs to rest!
Look out for signs like these:
- Inability to remember the last few minutes of travel
- Missing traffic signals or signs
- Wandering Thoughts
- Drifting in lines
- Doopy eyelids
Occupy Kids and restrain pets
Pets and kids can cause a lot of distractions in the car, so the best choice is to keep them occupied. Give kids options like puzzle books or music/movies on a portable device or play simple card games. Sometimes this can be fun for adults also. Pets should be appropriately restrained, so they are comfortable and safe and don’t pose a treat or distraction to the driver.
There are all types of accidents, but the collision with a truck can be very different from a crash with a car or motorcycle. Any minute is of the essence.
An expert should download the “black box” information from the truck to determine the speed and when the breaks were applied. Many enterprises especially truck companies have installed video surveillance that can also be requested. Trucking companies are only required to maintain documents like trip receipts for a short period, which can be difficult when you are building a case. The attorney must request all the evidence from that driver related to the trip be maintained.
The important thing is that a semi-truck can cause a lot of damage, much more than an average vehicle. Further, there is a chance for higher compensation for a trucking accident than you would receive in a crash with a passenger vehicle. Semi-truck are almost certainly covered with one or more commercial liability insurance policies.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) requires that semi-trucks carry commercial carrier insurance so that there is money available to offer compensation for a trucking accident. It is not unusual to find commercial carrier insurance policies for $1 million or more.
These policies are entirely different than a regular passenger vehicle. It’s essential that you work with experienced accident attorney who can advise you and get you fair compensation for a trucking accident.
There are the couple of factors that can vastly change your compensation level:
- Sustained injuries
- Medical treatment
- The economic damages sustained
- Lost wages
- Lost Future earning capacity
- Emotional trauma and Post-Traumatic stress disorder
- Lost of companionship (Also known as loss of consortium)
We at Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law care about the case, so there is no same case for us. Truck accident cases are unique because you can sue a corporation that hired a driver, the broker that arranged the trip, and even the shipper of the goods being transported, under certain circumstances.
If you go to trial you cannot tell the jury is there an insurance company protecting the driver. The board is not supposed to consider the effect of a verdict on a person’s financial situation, cause if they chose to return a high verdict, there is a chance that they fill financially cripple the defendant.
That’s why there is lower compensation for a car accident than in the case involving the truck. Also, let’s not forget that semi-truck drivers have different regulations.
A truck driver has to follow service regulations to prevent fatigued driving, and are subject to immediately post-accident drug and alcohol tests. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these rules and drive overly tired because of the pressure to deliver on time.
In an accident that involves the truck, you can claim that corporate negligence, like safety violations, vehicle maintenance or overloading contributed to the cause of your injury. Higher compensations are usually in these cases because the corporation is a corporate violation policy, rather than an individual.
There are cases against companies that are very complex. Including multiple defendants, injuries and much time.
Which damage to claim in a car accident?
These are the types of damages you may pursue in a personal injury lawsuit if you sustained car accident injuries. Medical expenses are top priorities in these claims. You may also claim damages for pain and suffering, loss of affection(lost of consortium) and damages for lost wages or diminished opportunities.
Injuries can be from bruises or a minor cuts to paralysis or some other permanent disability. Further, since some injuries may not produce symptoms at first or may need some extra medical care later, it’s essential to undergo a thorough medical examination immediately following a car accident if you believe you may have been injured.
Some of the medical expenses include:
- Consultation with the healthcare professional
- Ambulance fees
- Medical Accessories
- Permanent disability
- In-home services
- Physical and/or cognitive therapy(if a brain injury)
If your doctor believes you will need additional medical treatments or therapies at the time your claim is settled, your attorney may calculate other coasts. Health professionals and doctors can help with these estimates. In the case of motorist liability towards the death of another motorist, the surviving family could file a claim for wrongful death, in addition to any medical costs incurred between the accident and time of death.
Pain and Suffering
This type of claim is defined under the mental or physical distress for which one may seek damages in the lawsuit. The application is based on the kind of injury, the seriousness of the pain suffered, and the prognosis associated with the injury. Pain and Suffering may also include mental and/or emotional damage stemming from the accident, such as anxiety and stress. Some states allow plaintiffs(a party who initiates a lawsuit before a court) to include pain and suffering damages for a general loss of enjoyment of life.
Not all states have the same award system for pain and suffering. While some allow a jury to assume that there must always be some pain and suffering associated with a bodily injury, others request a certain period of consciousness during the injury to make that claim.
After the accident, injuries may cause you to lose earning capacity. A physical therapy session may also take your time from work, time spent in a hospital, problems with walking and general mobility, or other factors that may prevent you from earing your usual wages. In general, it’s essential to prove that the injury has impaired or diminished your ability to earn money in the future, based mainly on post-earnings. The court will consider others factors as well as age, occupation, skill, and experience.
Loss of Affection or Companionship
If you are married, and injury could affect you and your spouse of ability to show affection, including “loss of affection,” “Companionship” and other “Loss of consortium” that are claimed by the uninjured spouse.
Call us today, and get more info with the free consultation!
Arizona Risk Crossroads
Traffic Collisions in Arizona have been on the rise for five straight years, with intersections being especially dangerous. Near 25 percent of traffic fatalities and 50 percent of the collision, injuries happen in these dangerous intersections. These intersections require that driver, pedestrian, and cyclists all be vigilant to avoid causing an accident. Federal Highway Safety Administration calls them “Planned points of conflict.”
In ranking-risk crossroads in Arizona, Pheonix is home to half of the most dangerous ones. Many places in Arizona can be risky due to overpopulated areas making a driving hectic.
67TH Avenue and MCDOWELL Road, Pheonix
During rush hours, this route is popular with drivers trying to stay off the interstate. Plenty of residents adds up to the general chaos out there. Rear-end collisions are frequent, as are left-turn crashes. in 2015, there were around estimated 60,468 people traveling this road.
67TH Avenue and Indian School Road, Pheonix
This place features many apartments and private houses. Most accidents occur in this place, and the older people cause it through statistics. A National Highway Traffic Safety Association study said that 50 percent of crashes happen within five miles of home. Around 70 percent occurred within the ten miles. Daily traffic for this intersection saw nearly 70,000 motorists per day in 2013.
1-17 and Happy Valley Road, Mesa
The 1-17 is one of the deadliest roadways in the state of Arizona, including the roundabout intersection at Happy Valley Road. The Happy Valley Road intersection is just prone as the rest of the road.
Are roundabouts safer options in Arizona? ADOT has a proposal about diverging diamond interchange to replace the existing roundabouts at the 1-17 and Happy Valley Road. The state has also recommended for a diverging interchange for the South Mountain Freeway in 2019.
In Scottsdale, roundabouts have helped many drivers and becoming more and more popular to control right-of-way traffic reducing collisions in the city. However when drivers and unfamiliar with the roundabout system, they can find themselves in danger of accidents.
They are constructed as a means to control right way vehicle traffic to replace traffic signals. One one hand, according to the City of Scottsdale, statistics show roundabouts reduce collisions in busy intersections in Arizona by 30-20 percent. On the other hand, not all drivers are familiar with the procedures of the roundabouts.
University of Phoenix Campus, Tempe
The University of Pheonix Campus in Tempe is an area with the high amount of yearly accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The campus has bikers, joggers, walkers, and drivers, which adds to a need for extra precautionary measures. Some of them have been considered by the state of Arizona. Nearly 275,000 people are driving through the city, many of whom are easily distracted college students. Engineers in Pheonix are working hard to improve roadways that have become dangerous for pedestrian and drivers.
Use Reasonable Care
Operating all type of vehicles, the driver must exercise “Reasonable care under the circumstances.” Failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. The law of negligence usually governs legal claims from motor vehicle accidents. As with other types of accidents, usually, it’s the driver who was negligent and considered at fault in a traffic accident by the law.
Many factors are included in determining negligence, such as:
- Neglecting traffic signs or signals
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Ignoring the traffic signaling
- Violating the speed limit
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Driver error causes the vast majority of vehicle accidents on Arizona roadways. Driver inattention is only one of many problems that plague people behind the wheel. Driver distraction has received increasing public awareness because of the rising number of crashes, particularly those affecting teens and younger people.
Another cause of too many car accidents is drunk driving. Ability to control your vehicle can be affected by substance abuse and alcohol consumption. When drunk driver realize that he is above the limit and that he should not get in the car that’s the type of rational behavior when car accidents are avoided altogether.
Includes any situation in which driver’s attention is pulled away from the task at hand. This can consist of changing the radio station, changing the GPS mode, easting, applying makeup, texting, reading or sending emails and talking on the phone. All of these can alter driver’s focus and cognitive focus and increase the chance of an accident.
Aggressive and Reckless Driving Increasingly
Aggressiveness during driver and reckless behavior are being noted in police reports and insurance claims for accidents. You can always notice people getting frustrated by traffic or the action of the other drivers, but actually, they are the ones that can compromise the safety for everyone. Ignoring road signals and traffic laws, speeding and cutting off other drivers and other types of reckless driving can increase the chance of a multi-car pileup. If you notice someone aggressive, you can pull your car and call the police. That way you are ensuring that reckless behavior won’t affect other drivers as well. On the other hand, if another driver’s aggressive behavior is a cause of your injuries, talking action quickly with the help of the lawyer is strongly recommended.
Determining Who is the fault for a Car Accident
People who operate vehicles must exercise “Reasonable care under the circumstances.” Failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence by the law. As for the other types of accidents, the driver at fault in a traffic accident is the one who was negligent. The court determines many factors in determining negligence, such as: Failing to signal while turning, disobeying traffic signs or signals, driving above or below the posted speed limit or disregarding weather or traffic condition.
There are many injuries from minor to sever including Spinal Cord Damage, Whiplash, Broken Bones, Chronic Pain, etc. For many car accident victims in Arizona, the requirement to address their medical treatments often extend well into the future and can be expensive for a victim who was not at fault for an accident. This is why Schenk Podolsky Attorney at law have a perfect understanding of personal injury law and helps them to pursue personal injury claims.
A road trip, driving to your job or coming home from an exhausting day can be a daily activity where you find yourself in a position where you need to keep your eyes on the road while protecting others by following the driving rules. Here are some tips that can help you regarding drivers fatigue that’s affecting more and more Americans in a modern society
Get Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep
You need to stay alert and safe behind the wheel. Fatigue can lead to real danger on the road, but it’s just a lack of sleep or feeling tired. Almost 37% (National Safety Council) driver nodded off or fallen asleep at the wheel at least once during last year. Get you seven or eight hours of sleep and get enough rest. It can help your body to recover and to be fresh.
So don’t go on a road trip or holiday exhausted. Try to avoid night drives, cause glare of lights on your dashboard and other vehicles increase the chance of distraction. You need to keep your breaks for caffeine every 2 hours and also explain your driving partner to start some conversation so he/she can keep you up.
Beware of myths
There are myths like drinking coffee while driving, turning up the radio or cd, eating sugary food or rolling down a window while driving. They can be, but there is not the practical solution. These are just misconceptions. If you are tired, stop and have a 20-minute power nap. Allow time to be your best friend and recover before you hit the road again.
Don’t get too comfortable
Drive with your shoulders back and your head up. Get your posture right. Legs should be flexed around 45-degree angle. Tuck your back against the lower part of the seat. You can use sunglasses to fight the road glares.
Sings of fatigue
- You yawn often
- Red eyes
- You have the problem with finding a comfortable position
- Maintaining speed and keeping the straight course
- Slower reactions
- Seeing things that are not there, foggy or blurred picture
- Getting nervous when there is a monotonous part of the road
- You stop looking in your rearview mirrors
- The trouble with keeping your eyes open
If you fall asleep for 2 seconds during driving at 60 km/h, you will wake up 30 meters further down the road. A driver who has not slept for 17 hours is likely to crash than a person with a blood alcohol content of 05g/100ml. Being awake for 24 hours and driving, you have seven times chance more likely to crash than a well-rested person. Don’t wait for your sleep debt to accumulate. That can be dangerous. The only way to avoid liability to adds up is to have regular seven to eight hours of sleep.
Without sleep, this debt can add up and may lead to urge to rest while on the road.
Texting and Driving in Arizona
Three-quarters of the driver have seen other drivers texting or talking on cellphone according to the survey reported in Nationwide 2009. Four out of five cellphone owner admit they are using the cell phone while driving. People can’t concentrate on two things simultaneously because our brain has a cognitive load, which means one mental activity can be engaged at a time. So, it means if there’s a driver who is using a cellphone while driving he is less focused on driving then he should be without texting or talking.
If you are experienced driver the cognitive load will increase in term of your focus on driving while you are on the road.
Texting while driving is new drunk driving. These are the statistic during 2015. By U.S Department of Transportation statistics. Numbers are around 3.500 fatalities and about 400.000 injuries. Teens are most common drivers in these incidents, four-time more likely than adults. From 2011 to 2015 the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration reported around 50.000 to 70.000 crashes.
Safety campaigns have produced little results cause numbers are still rising. Around 88% drivers use their phone on all trips in the U.S. Most of drivers ignore the warnings cause they think using a phone while driving is not that dangerous.
Hands-free devices are not the necessarily better solution then handheld phone. Volume for hands-free devices has been the no.1 problem cause many times drivers spend more time fiddling with the earpieces or headphones then the actual cellphone. Bluetooth or similar products in which cell phone calls are transmitted through the car’s built-in microphone may be the safest solution.
In Arizona Senate Bill 1261 would impose a fine of between $25 and $99 for a first offense and between $100 and $200 for a subsequent offense. Some lawmakers have tried to ban texting and driving, and they have failed every time.
This year The Senate Committee on Transportation and Technology unanimously approved the proposal and proposal has now moved to the Rules of Committee before going to the full Senate.
If texting while driving causes death or an injury the defendant will pay up to $4000 and be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor. Many states outlawed hand-held phone use while driving or have banned cell phone use for a specific type of drivers (except. police, fire department, medical, etc.) In California, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington (Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands) police officers can pull you over for using a hand-held cell phone.
Diving studies find that our notion of traffic gets worse is far from guaranteed, and sometimes we unconsciously pick up the phone when we have some news or just application update. Our brain needs around 30 seconds to reorient and resume our attention to driving after we touch our cellphone, radio or something else. We now have scientifical proof that our brain needs some time after multitasking to resume to one thing. So it’s somewhat safe to park your vehicle and then text or send email
What To Do After A Truck Accident?
When involved in an accident that involves a large commercial truck or another large industrial vehicle, it can be a horrific experience for everyone involved, no doubt about it. The victim struck by the large commercial vehicle can be severely injured or killed due to the size and mass of the truck. If you or your loved one was involved in such an accident, let us help you navigate the legal process and what to do.
For victims of a truck collision, the scene of the accident can be overwhelming. With so much happening you can forget what you need to do. But keep in mind, it’s important not leave the scene immediately, but of course, stay put until police or other authorities have arrived. Particularly in collisions where someone is injured or killed, it may be a criminal offense to leave the scene without reporting the accident.
Never try to move from your vehicle if you are injured in an accident, but instead wait for first responders to arrive so you don’t injure yourself further. If someone else has been injured in an accident scene, don’t move them until first responders arrive, unless of course an imminent threat requires moving them. Immediately call 911 for police and medical assistance after checking to see if anyone is hurt.
Without revealing any details about your insurance policy or admitting fault to anyone other than your insurance provider, be sure to collect the following information:
- Names of drivers or nearby witnesses along with their phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and insurance information.
- Be sure to obtain details of both the truck driver and their employer.
- Location of the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles involved. Any damage shown, TAKE A PICTURE.
- Police report number, phone number, and the officers’ name and badge number.
While seeking medical attention from any injuries sustained by the accident, document all names, dates, and specialties of any doctors, specialized medical practitioners, or chiropractors that you seek treatment from. Compile the bill for all your medical expenses.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident, you must seek the help of an attorney with ample experience handling truck accidents. They will know all about the detailed federal and state regulations that trucking companies must comply with. If you want to win a truck accident claim and get the peace of mind you deserve, you’ll need a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations that may apply to your case.