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Deteriorating roadways in the United States are a major concern. We all hear politicians from different political ideology talk about investment in infrastructure to help us economically. However, fewer discuss the need for major updates to our roads for the safety of drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. A new report found that infrastructure investments have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over a 20-year period if changes and updates were made to interstates and roads.

“Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investments” released earlier this month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education association, details key strategies to accomplish that goal. The report noted that the U.S. is ranked nearly last among developed countries in annual traffic fatalities. This fact should not be ignored. The report listed six items that the group recommends to greatly reduce car accident deaths and injures. They recommended that key intersections be turned into roundabouts, install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects, add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossings on majority of roads, install median barriers on divided highways, install shoulder and center line rumble strips, and pave and widen highway shoulders.

Inattentive driving is a big cause of car and truck accidents. The changes outlined in the report would help alleviate careless driving and make our roads safer. Several cities in Arkansas are putting roundabouts in new developments to help alleviate traffic congestion. I hear complaints about these intersections; however, I believe that as they become more common, people will not have issues with their use. Several people have told me that they hated roundabouts at first but they really enjoy them now. We should all do our part to tell our politicians to start making these changes for the good of our economy and our safety.

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This week 13 passengers on a USA Holiday tour bus were killed, and many injured, early this morning on a highway in California when the USA Holiday tour bus ran into the back of an 18-wheeler semi truck at a speed great enough to cause the bus to travel approximately 15 feet inside the 18-wheeler’s trailer, causing significant damage to the bus.   The driver was among one of the fatally injured.   Firefighters used ladders to remove the passengers through the windows of the bus.

The tour bus had recently traveled to the Red Earth Casino in Thermal, California, and was returning back to Los Angeles, California when the crash happened early this morning.   It has been reported that the driver of the tour bus was one of the company’s owners.    The USA Holiday tour bus had inspections performed on the bus in 2014, 2015, and 2016, with no mechanical citations reported.   According to news reports, the company also had a satisfactory rating for safety.

At this time the investigation into the crash is still ongoing, therefore officials are unclear as of now whether the driver of the bus was speeding, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or whether he fell asleep behind the wheel while driving.

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I recently read an article entitled, “We’ve Been Brainwashed Into Saying ‘Car Accident.’”  As I read the article, I could not have agreed more.  The dictionary definition of “accident” is “an event that is not planned or intended.”

While it is true that almost no one intends to crash their vehicle, people make choices that cause automobile crashes.  Some choices that people make include drinking and driving, texting while driving, speeding, following too close, driving fatigued, and driving with known defects, such as faulty brakes.  These are just some of the reasons or causes of car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Arkansas.  For example, when an individual decides to drive drunk, he or she is making a choice. And if a crash occurs, it should not be described as an “accident.” Continue reading

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Taking Xarelto, a drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutical, can be deadly.

If you have taken the drug Xarelto and experienced internal bleeding, you should contact your doctor and talk to him or her about your symptoms.  Janssen Pharmaceutical  markets the drug called Xarelto.  Xarelto is an anticoagulant drug, also called a blood thinner, used to prevent blood clots in individuals.   Anticoagulants often have a bleeding complication associated with its use, but medications can be administered to reverse the blood thinning effects.   Xarelto is alleged to have a much higher risk because there is no known medication or cure to reverse its blood thinning effect.   Blood thinners have been used for a very long time, but they have been used with the known fact that its effects can be reversed. Continue reading

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This is a post I hope you will never have to put into action.  Would you know what to do if you found yourself inside of a vehicle surrounded with water and your vehicle was sinking?   I recently saw a video of a car that had run off a parking lot into the water and the driver was saved by a good Samaritan that jumped into action and helped get the driver out of the car out before the car sank.

It is estimated that 400 people drown each year in the U.S. because their vehicle was submerged in water.   Thankfully, most of us will never have to experience the terror we would feel if our vehicle was going down while we were trapped inside the vehicle, but having a plan of action, should you find yourself in this type of situation, could save your life.   Every second counts when you’re in this type of situation.

According to information I read, experts say that you will likely have 30-60 seconds to escape your vehicle.    After reading and educating myself about the problem, I have summarized some suggestions made by the experts.

What to do if this happened to you: Continue reading

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These fatalities happen because a driver chooses to drive while intoxicated.   A senseless, avoidable act.

Research tells us that an average person will metabolize one 12-ounce beer and one 5-ounce glass of wine  in one hour.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day an estimated thirty fatalities occur in the United States on our roadways involving drivers who choose to drink and drive.  Tragedies caused by drinking and driving are 100% avoidable.  When a person causes an accident because he or she chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while being intoxicated, that person should be held responsible for any harm they cause another person or family.  The Pfeifer Law Firm represents individuals and their families of those affected by drunk driving accidents.    If you simply have questions, feel free to call us at 501-374-4440. Continue reading

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With New Year’s Eve approaching, all of us at the Pfeifer Law Firm encourage drivers to phone a friend or a cab company before getting behind the wheel of a car if you’ve had a drink.  Plan ahead before you go out for the evening and line up a designated driver or call a cab if you plan to drink.  There will be many late-night drivers on the roadways leaving parties and driving tired.    Keep yourself and others safe by calling a friend or a cab if you’ve been drinking or just feel too tired to drive.    Here are a few cab company numbers that you can program into your phone before heading out for the evening:

Yellow Cab
(501) 222-2222

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We all love fireworks and hotdogs, however, the reason we are celebrating and the courage of the founding fathers should not be forgotten. So here it is taken from the National Archives Website.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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Arkansas dog bite law states that an owner or a person having custody of a dog has a duty to use ordinary care to keep his/her animals from running at large when he/she knows or reasonably should know that such animals are likely to cause injury or damage to others. Arkansas Model Jury Instruction 1601. Further, a person who keeps a domestic animal with knowledge of its dangerous tendencies does so at his/her risk and is liable for injuries and damage caused by the animal. Arkansas Model Jury Instruction 1602.

Against this backdrop, and pursuant to the plain language of these accepted Arkansas jury instructions, an owner and/or a person in custody of a dog may be held liable for injuries caused by an animal. This liability can be twofold. First, an owner or custodian may be held liable under a theory of strict liability for injuries inflicted on a plaintiff if (1) the animal was of a vicious species; or (2) the animal, although domesticated, had dangerous tendencies which were known to the owner. However, an owner or custodian need not have actual knowledge of an animal’s dangerous tendencies or propensities. Notice may be actual or constructive.

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