Driver Killed on Loop 303 – Drowsy Driving Blamed

A man who was injured in a crash on Loop 303 has died. The accident took place at around 2 a.m. in Surprise, Arizona near Grand Avenue. The man was driving a truck, which veered off the highway and struck a guardrail, taking out approximately 140 feet of the protective railing. The vehicle was heading southbound. The highway was closed until 6 a.m. while the scene was investigated and prepared for reopening.

Investigators believe the driver was possibly a newspaper deliveryman and that he may have fallen asleep while driving. Officers from the Department of Public Safety have reported that they do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.

The driver’s leg was nearly severed in the accident. He was rushed to the local hospital and taken into surgery. The man died as a result of his injuries.

The truck was found packed with newspapers. A piece of metal from the guardrail went into the windshield and through the entire truck. When police found the man at the accident scene, he was standing up in the back of his rolled vehicle. Officers discovered that the metal piece had broken off and passed through the man’s vehicle, severing the man’s leg. The leg was only attached by the skin around it. The man reportedly went in and out of consciousness and had no vital signs when he was loaded onto a helicopter to be transported to the hospital. Medical personnel at the hospital were able to get a pulse upon the man’s arrival and prior to him being transported into surgery.

Drivers are urged to delay travel if they are feeling tired. People who are unable to avoid travel while tired should pull over and rest if they become drowsy. Bringing a passenger or speaking with someone on the phone using a hands-free device are other tactics that can help drivers avoid drowsiness. Nevertheless, it is best to stay off the roads while resting and regaining alertness. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous and may result in the injury or death of the driver and others who are on or near the roadway.

Sources:
http://www.azfamily.com/news/Drivers-leg-nearly-severed-in-possible-drowsy-driving-wreck-on-Loop-303-253548811.html
http://www.abc15.com/news/region-west-valley/sun-city/man-airlifted-to-hospital-after-rollover-crash-on-loop-303-in-sun-city

Legal Moves Considered Around Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

As Malaysian Airline Flight 370 is still under investigation and the search continues for the lost plane, the families of the passengers are beginning the process of making legal decisions as though all of the 227 passengers died in a crash. The problem, of course, is that there is no wreckage of any type and ultimately no verification of any potential case facts. However, legal teams from around the world have been in contact with the families and are investigating the various methods of compensation that may be available, based on jurisdiction.

Foreign courts may not be as lucrative of a market as the United States court system, as western courts tend to value life higher in most situations, and punitive damage awards are relatively common. There are international limits placed on settlements when planes crash that are controlled by the Montreal Convention agreement, but U.S. courts can also be negotiated in a manner that allows higher settlements. This is normally negotiated with a non-disclosure agreement with the plaintiff, which essentially guarantees that none of the case facts are discussed publicly by either party.

The central issue in the current unverifiable situation is how much will the plaintiff families be paid and, possibly more importantly, when will they be paid. Some of the insurance companies have already begun settling claims even though there is absolutely no wreckage or retrievable bodies. The amount of time that has lapsed since the plane disappeared is apparently enough to satisfy the insurance companies; but, the Malaysian airline and other potential legal respondents are still diligently searching with zero luck for any evidence in a vast ocean.

Although Flight 370 is clearly a unique legal situation, there is a precedent for this legal procedure. An Air France plane crash in 2009 yielded the same legal possibilities, and those families are just now finally getting compensated for their losses. It appears that this may not be the case with this assumed crash, but there may also be other respondents who can be found negligent in court. This total settlement process will be a long-term issue before all is said and done.

Meanwhile, the legal professionals are beginning the evaluation of all legal avenues, even though many of the assumed victims’ families say this is still very early and not the time to begin compensation discussions. Many of the families still have hope that the plane actually landed somewhere and the passengers will eventually be located. Until then, the search continues for the plane and the search continues for the ensuing legal compensation process that is sure to follow.

Motorcycle Crash Leaves 2 Critically Injured in Bullhead City

An unfortunate interaction between wildlife and humans resulted in two adults being critically injured near Bullhead City. The motorcycle accident, apparently related to numerous burros being in the road, occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on Monday, March 10. According to Bullhead City police, a 61-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman from Golden Valley are in critical condition after the accident. The police explained that the two, Kenneth Imthurn and Janna Imthurn, were taken to Las Vegas area hospitals for treatment following the accident.

According to the Bullhead City Police Department, a call came into the station at about 7 p.m. Monday, regarding the presence of multiple burros approaching a stretch of Highway 68 in Bullhead City. An officer from the department reported to the scene to clear the burros off of the road shortly after receiving the call, and the Imthurns approached soon after. According to accident witnesses, Kenneth was driving the motorcycle at the time of the collision, but he did slow in time to give the burros sufficient time to clear the roadway. However, when he slowed the motorcycle, a vehicle hit the motorcycle from behind and caused both Kenneth and Janna to be thrown from the bike.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the Imthurn’s motorcycle, who is 61 years old, was not impaired at the time of the collision, according to police.

Motorcycle collisions can be particularly dangerous for riders due to the difference in size between the bike and the vehicle that hits the bike. However, Arizona is not an especially dangerous state for motorcycle riders, with only about 3 percent of total crashes in the state involving motorcycles, according to the state Department of Transportation. Of those accidents, only about 4 percent involve fatalities, while 16 percent involve only property damage, and 80 percent involve non-fatal injuries. The Department of Transportation’s statistics indicate that most motorcycle accidents occur in the daylight as opposed to at night.

As a whole, vehicular collisions were slightly up in 2012 compared to 2011, following a significant drop of about 3,000 accidents after 2011.

Sources:
http://www.mynews4.com/news/state/story/2-critically-injured-in-Arizona-motorcycle-crash/bJiADu_YCECP03hkhDZM4g.cspx
https://www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/mvd-services/12crashfacts.pdf?sfvrsn=2 (page 46)
https://www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/mvd-services/2011-crash-facts.pdf?sfvrsn=2
https://www.azdot.gov/docs/mvd-services/2010-crash-facts.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Why Is Whiplash So Dangerous?

Surprisingly, many people are unaware of the serious risks associated with a whiplash injury. Whiplash victims may not seek initial treatment of their pain; however, early diagnosis and treatment can greatly reduce the pain caused by whiplash, and help detect more serious, underlying effects that may develop.

Pain and other symptoms caused by whiplash injury do not always appear immediately, especially when the crash occurs at low speed. The severity and duration cannot always be predicted by the amount of damage to a vehicle because the G force on the occupants is greater than the force of impact on the vehicle. In fact, symptoms may not appear for weeks or months. Focusing more on the visible amount of damage to a vehicle, or the seemingly minor force of people colliding directly, can be a dangerous assumption that ends in serious loss of quality of life of the victim.

Automobile collisions are not the only way whiplash injuries happen. They can result from sports-related collisions, such as football players being tackled, and baseball or soccer players running into each other. Incidents of being shaken, such as in shaken-baby syndrome, or of being punched can also result in serious injury.

Whiplash refers to injuries resulting from the head being suddenly thrust backward and then forward, or from side to side. This motion strains the neck’s muscles and ligaments. The same motion can also cause serious neck strain without the victim colliding into another person or object. Headaches, as well as shoulder, neck, and back pain are the most common symptoms resulting from this type of injury. Others include numbness and nausea. Although they may not manifest for several days or weeks after the impact, and usually subside within a similarly brief period, there are cases where only slight symptoms resulted in serious consequences long after the injury occurred.

Consider the 2008 injury of Robert Bright, a British businessman who suffered a serious stroke five weeks after a minor crash in standstill traffic. He thought the neck pain and headaches would heal on their own, but the damage split the main artery that supplies blood to the brain and caused a blood clot to form. He lost the full use of his left arm. As Mr. Bright said, “I would urge anyone who has the symptoms to be aware of the risks and not be afraid to get checked out.”

Sources

1. http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/FULL/Whiplash_A_Medical_Doctor_s_Review_of_the_Literature.html
2. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/2-million-payout-for-businessman-who-had-stroke-34-days-after-whiplash-crash-8375266.html#!
3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whiplash/DS01037/DSECTION=complications
4. http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/pain-management-whiplash
5. http://www.southsidechiroclinic.com/blog/2013/02/25/dangers-of-untreated-whiplash/

 

Four Common Causes of Phoenix Car Accidents

If you live in the Phoenix area, you may be curious to know what causes most car accidents. There are many reasons for Phoenix car accidents, but it seems that the majority of them are caused by one of five things

1) Distracted Driving

When driving in Phoenix, it’s very easy to get distracted by other things. It is estimated that between 20 and 50 percent of all auto accidents are a result of distracted driving. The major distractions are texting, gawking at an accident, driver fatigue, looking at scenery, attending to children or other passengers, adjusting the radio or CD player, and reading. Cell phones hazards are quickly rising as well. It is estimated that more than 85 percent of approximately 100 million cell-phone owners talk on their phones regularly while driving. The answer to this problem is to always keep your eyes on the road when you are behind the wheel.

2) Speeding

Speeding is a common problem of car accidents. Sadly, the faster someone is driving, the greater the danger and damage that will result. People are always in a hurry and it often takes a ticket or accident to slow them down. By following simple speed limits and being alert, you can avoid being a reckless driver.

3) Driver Fatigue

Each year, accidents are caused by fatigued drivers. This is most common between the hours of 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. when most people are in bed. Driver fatigue can include signs such as yawning, droopy eyelids, wandering into other lanes, unexplainable changes in speed, feeling nervous or irritable, or daydreaming. Make certain that you get plenty of sleep when you are going to be driving, and pull over if you get too sleepy or begin to lose your concentration.

4) Weather

Bad weather in sunny Phoenix is unusual. However, because the weather is usually so nice, people often don’t know how to drive in areas that are flooded,  foggy, or where large gusts of wind or dust blow through the area. Any time you can’t see, pull off to the side of the road. Also, if the weather is inclement, be sure to allow for more driving time.

 

Sources:

http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-fatalities-national-statistics
http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/20/the-6-most-common-causes-of-automobile-crashes.htm
http://www.holidaypoint.com.au/5-most-common-causes-of-car-accidents-to-avoid/