We are still in the middle of summer where temperatures seem to be triple-digits more often than not. The weather forecast for today and tomorrow in Phoenix calls for highs around 113 degrees Fahrenheit which seems warm but almost normal this time of year. If you have lived in Arizona for any length of time, odds are that you understand how to cope with the oppressive heat you experience and that you know summer is something that just needs to be survived until fall arrives. However, while people think about the safety of themselves, their children, and the need to be in air conditioning, they give less consideration to the effect that extremely hot temperatures can play on their vehicles and on their ability to drive safely.
One of the biggest driving-related risks that arise as temperatures climb is the risk for a tire blowout or tire failure. As temperatures tend to increase, the air pressure inside of a tire increases in response, leading the air to expand and the tire to inflate. This increased pressure and inflation can lead to greater friction between a tire and the road surface it encounters and the friction, especially when combined with increased speeds, can cause a tire to blow with little or no warning.
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It is critically important for those in the Valley to move about the public roadways in a safe and efficient manner. Traffic in and around Phoenix can be brutal at times and even a small backup can have major consequences. The State of Arizona has taken numerous steps to address these issues in recent years and the creation of the Loop 202 was an important move towards better traffic flow.
Presently, the Loop 202 helps to connect potions of the Valley from I-10 in the west to the west of Apache Junction in the east. Various portions of the Loop 202 are known as the Red Mountain Freeway, Santan Freeway, and South Mountain Freeway but all sections provide the same goal: moving heavy amounts of traffic in and around the Phoenix metro area.
With the introduction of a large load of traffic has unfortunately come a significant number of car accidents both on and near the Loop 202. This leads to an often asked question that is not well answered among drivers: what can motorists do to ensure their personal safety?
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This time of year is always an interesting one to live in Phoenix. We not only get the pleasure of temperatures that often fail to dip below 100 degrees Fahrenheit but we also face a serious threat of monsoons striking with little notice. A monsoon can form during the summer in Arizona when there is a variance of temperatures between the water and the land. As Arizona does not have a ton of water itself, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California have a lot to do with our weather.
Several monsoons have hit in and around Maricopa County this week and consumers are feeling the fallout of these events. One storm on Wednesday night left more than 2,000 customers without power in the San Tan Valley and caused some localized flooding and other road-related safety issues.
With monsoon season here, it is a good idea to think about what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
Continue reading “Monsoon Season Has Arrived in Phoenix: How You Can Stay Safe”
Recent years have seen more recalls among automobiles on American roads than any time previously in history, and Phoenix drivers have been affected along with everyone else. A massive airbag recall, recalls for faulty transmissions, faulty brakes, and poorly designed electronics, as well as other issues that are not linked to the basic function of a car have all proliferated the U.S. market. Sometimes, the recalls are made by manufacturers before the damages caused by the design failures accumulate. Almost always, though, at least one car accident or one injury occurs before a problem is discovered.
Now, a recent recall over certain models of Jeeps is being investigated to determine whether it played a role in the death of a popular Hollywood actor on the rise.
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If you make your home in Maricopa County, there is no doubt that you realize how hot it has been this week. Unfortunately, today is going to be the coolest day over the next week and a half and it is still expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Everywhere you turn, people are looking for ways to cool down and to catch a break from this heat that is not only oppressive but is also downright dangerous to human health.
Officials in the State of Arizona expect a larger than typical number of motorists to take to the roadways this weekend and to head north, out of the Valley and away from the worst of the heat. Odds are high that Flagstaff could see a large influx of people this weekend due in part to the horrendous Phoenix weather but also due to the fact that Flagstaff is hosting two music festivals, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Blues and Brews is happening on Saturday and promises to have several live bands and a wide selection of beers for adults. Saturday and Sunday will see the Flagstaff Folk Festival with more than 100 musical acts and activities both indoors and outdoors.
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All this week, a large portion of Arizona is under an excessive heat warning as issued by the National Weather Service. The entire Phoenix area is covered by this heat warning and temperatures are expected to remain above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of the week. Saturday could see a high of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
These temperatures are nothing new if you have lived in Maricopa County for a while though it may seem like they are starting a little early in the year. However, it is unwise to be lulled into a sense of familiarity simply because Arizona has high temperatures every year. Rather, it is a good idea to review some of the safety issues that accompany these extreme temperatures so that you can take any steps necessary to keep your family safe.
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There are many widely held misconceptions when it comes to automobile safety in the Phoenix area. Among these misconceptions, one of the most common is that rear-end car accidents are minor and never cause serious harm. The basis for this belief often comes from a mixture of personal experiences, an exposure to local news, and even a misguided belief that cars are designed so well that they prevent injuries in a rear-end crash.
Of all the car accidents that happen in Arizona, roughly 25-50 percent of them are rear-end collisions, depending on the area of the state at issue. Fortunately, many of these accidents are, in fact, minor and only cause damage to the vehicles involved. The drivers and passengers inside those cars are able to escape unharmed and can move on with their daily lives without too much of an inconvenience.
Unfortunately, though, there are thousands of rear-end collisions every year that lead to injures and some even lead to death when these accidents prove to be serious. In those instances, victims may be forced to bear the burden of a collision for months or years to come as they struggle to recover from their injuries and return to their pre-accident lives. If a loved one is killed, that loss can never be undone and a family can never fully recover.
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Many people who live in the greater Scottsdale area drive in one part of the Valley on weekdays and other parts on the weekends. Regular routines including work, school, and errands may dominate the weekday schedules but things are more open on the weekends, allowing for some flexibility in scheduling and some impromptu fun. If you are one of those people, make sure you know that the southbound Loop 101 was closed this weekend and will remain closed through today between 90th Street and Chaparral Road.
The affected portion of the Pima Freeway is in Scottsdale and will be undergoing rubberized asphalt paving through the early morning hours today. Officials anticipate the full reopening of the area by late morning and are hoping for as little of an impact on rush hour traffic as possible. Yet to be safe, motorists are being encouraged to avoid the area and to look for alternative routes so that they will avoid the headache of possible congestion. Official detours are available by State Route 51 or Interstate 17.
Continue reading “Southbound Loop 101 between 90th Street and Chaparral Road Closed Today”
Whether you love them or hate them, red light cameras are a part of life if you reside in the greater Phoenix area. Some cities have added them while others have removed them in recent years but as most motorists drive through multiple cities on a daily basis, these cameras affect almost everyone.
Publicly, most local governments state that the purpose of the cameras is to promote public safety. They can also be significant revenue generators as well as these cameras issue a greater number of tickets than a typical officer would patrolling an intersection during a shift.
But are red light cameras really making Phoenix safer? The answer to that question depends on who you ask.
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Millions of Americans have already learned that their vehicles are equipped with faulty air bag inflators and need to be replaced, but recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced the problem was much larger and more widespread than was previously known.
The inflators are associated with Takata air bags and more than 28.8 million vehicles have been recalled previously due to this condition. Experts were able to determine that the inflators could degrade over time due in part to fluctuating high temperatures and exposure to moisture, which in turn leads to a breakdown of an ammonium nitrate propellant. Without this propellant in proper working condition, the inflator fails and the air bag will not deploy in the event of a collision. Not only does the air bag fail to deploy but in some instances, the inflator degrades to the point that it becomes shrapnel which can be expelled through the car, potentially injuring the occupants of any vehicle.
Based on the determination of why these ignitors are failing, the NHTSA has expanded its recall to include another 35-40 million vehicles. Before this expansion, the recall was the largest of its kind in U.S. history; now, its size is unparalleled.
Continue reading “Another 35-40 Million Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Air Bag Inflators”