Watch Jonathan Negretti discuss Negretti & Associates’ pledge to create a scholarship endowment at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. In this video, which is part of his firm’s Legal Beagle Podcast, Jonathan reflects upon his long journey from his undergrad years to the current moment, of being able to give back to his alma mater in a significant and deeply meaningful way.

By Jonathan Negretti

Negretti & Associates recently formalized a commitment to creating a scholarship endowment to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. For each of the next five years, at the very least, the endowment will offer a scholarship to law students who are community leaders.

The endowment is important to us at Negretti & Associates for a couple of reasons.

Back when I was in my undergrad years at Arizona State University (ASU), I struggled a bit in picking a direction in my education. There was actually a time where I almost failed out of ASU. My GPA was so low that I was at the point of being put on academic suspension. That was a bit of a defining moment for me. I knew I could do the work. I just wasn’t doing the work.

So, I visited my dad in San Diego, where he lived at the time. I spent time on the beach reflecting on my life and thinking about my future, and where I was going. I found some clarity in that time away: that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for, or that you even believe that you could do.

I returned to ASU and met with one of my academic counselors. I said, “Look, I can’t unwind what has already happened. But I can look forward into the next year and a half of school and figure out how to graduate and have some sort of direction.”

My counselor and I sat down together and put together a plan. I was able to excel. In fact, in my declared major, I think my GPA was a 3.9 — maybe a 3.8. But, because of the previous trouble I had in my first two to two-and-a-half years at ASU, my overall GPA was quite low. It was in the low 3s. It was certainly not remarkable, and certainly not something that I look back on and am proud of. But you learn and you grow from things.

After getting my degree from ASU, I went off into the world of media, and worked in media sales. I worked for few different publications and helped start a publication that was created by Dave and Jackie Goodwin here in Arizona called College Times, which they later sold. I helped grow a key accounts desk at The Arizona Republic into an eight-figure, income-producing desk for our state’s largest newspaper.

Even though I had these exciting experiences, I felt like I was lacking something. So, I started to investigate what other things were out there for me. One thing I considered doing was going to get my MBA. I visited with ASU, because it offers an MBA program. I also visited with Thunderbird, which is an international business school in Arizona — one that is highly acclaimed in the Phoenix area — and even sat in on classes and met some students. Then, out of happenstance, I was told that I should give a go at law school.

I had never thought of going to law school. I don’t come from a lineage of attorneys. I don’t have that background or that pedigree in my family. But law school sounded interesting and I knew that the experience, or the education itself, could benefit me in a lot of different capacities going forward — especially since I have a sincere interest in business.

Finding a Side Door

I had a three-step approach toward going to law school: I would take the LSAT, apply to law school, and then figure out, financially, how to go to law school. It’s kind of funny. Maybe I should have thought about how to go to law school financially before I took the LSAT and applied to law school! Nonetheless, that was my three-step approach.

I took the LSAT, but I did not do exceptionally well. On the spectrum of where I scored on the LSAT, I probably was on the lower end — maybe not where tier-one schools, the upper echelon of law schools, would even give me a look. It was certainly not Ivy League material. But that was okay because I wanted to go to Arizona State.

Combined with my LSAT score, my GPA was too low for ASU to admit me. Yet, fortunately, at the time, there was another law school option in Phoenix: the Phoenix School of Law, which is now defunct.

Phoenix School of Law admitted me to law school. But, still, that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to know how to get into ASU. I’m a big believer that if you don’t get in through the front door, that maybe there’s a way to get in through the side door.

I continued to pester the dean of admissions at ASU for weeks on end, wanting to have a conversation about how to transfer over to ASU after my first year of law school. It’s not often that students would transfer after year one of law school, but it’s not uncommon, either. It does happen from time to time.

When the dean of admissions at ASU finally picked up the phone, I said, “Hey, look, I just want to know how to put myself in the best position possible to transfer to ASU.”

She said, “This is what I need you to do. I need you to kick butt in your first year of law school. I need you to be in the top 10 percent of your class. I need you to join organizations and be active on campus. You can’t just be a bookworm. You have to show that you are more well-rounded than that. I need you to meet your professors and get to know them, so that if you have to have a letter of recommendation written about you, they actually know who you are, and they’re not just being asked last-minute to write about one of their students. You need to show they’ve gotten to know you over the course of the school year.”

I felt I was capable of meeting those expectations.

I joined a law school fraternity. I didn’t know that there were law school fraternities, but there are. I was in a bunch of different organizations. I joined organizations that had to do with religion and the law. I joined organizations that had to do with social justice and giving back into the community.

Then, I went and sat down with my professors and I got to know them as people. They got to know me as a person and relationships developed.

When it came time to transfer, I had checked all the boxes. I was in the top ten percent of my first-year class at Phoenix School of Law. I had joined a ton of organizations and was well-rounded in that capacity. I knew a lot of my professors and had asked a few of them to write letters of recommendation.

When I submitted my application to transfer to ASU, I was immediately admitted as a student.

But rather than simply just transfer to ASU, I went to Phoenix School of Law and I sat with the dean of the school and I said, “Look, I know that I’m going to go do wonderful things for this profession and I want to be an ambassador for whatever school I graduate from. If you offer me a scholarship to stay here, I will stay and complete school here and I will forever sing your praises and I will give back to the school and I’ll donate.” The dean was uninterested and said, “Good luck at ASU.”

I made that same offer to ASU about giving back and being a part of the legacy of law school. I said the same thing to the dean of admissions as part of my application to be admitted — that if you let me in, I will forever be grateful, will forever give back to the school, and be part of that ongoing legacy of law students who have graduated from Arizona State.

Introducing The Negretti Law Leadership Scholarship

Fast forward to today. We are eight years removed from law school. Our firm is in a position, much credit to the hard work of our entire staff, where we can offer this endowment to Arizona State University on behalf of the firm.

Now that we have created The Negretti Law Leadership Scholarship, the first student to receive the scholarship will be a part of the next incoming class, in August 2021. I’m really excited to have this be part of the firm’s legacy, my personal legacy, and Arizona State University’s legacy.

When I sat down with the team at ASU to create this scholarship endowment, it was really important to me that this wouldn’t be just another scholarship available to a student who excelled in their undergraduate program or on their LSAT scores. I really wanted to try to identify people like me.

Here’s what you need to know when you think about law school — or when you’re thinking about the people they admit into law school.

Law schools are ranked. Those rankings put law schools in different tiers. Earlier, I referenced tier one. That’s usually the better law schools in the country. The rankings are based on the students that they admit and have to do with metrics like undergraduate GPAs, LSAT scores, etc.

So, here I am, asking the law school to create a scholarship that identifies people like me: people who didn’t have great undergrad GPAs or great LSAT scores, but have some life experience, a desire to go do great things, and can be great in this profession, regardless of what it says on paper.

ASU and I had to work hard to try to create a scholarship that allows recipients to be identified as among those people.

If we, as a firm, can impact this profession in a positive way by finding more dedicated, more non-traditional, more out-of-the-box types of attorneys, then I think that we’re doing the right thing and we’re offering some good into the profession that we are honored to work in.

I’m humbled by the fact that we are in a position to make this endowment. What’s more, I’m thankful to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University for believing in me and for helping me put together a scholarship that really gives back, by identifying future students who will make positive impacts on this profession.

jonathan negretti running for charity in world marathon challenge

Attorney to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents in Seven Days to Raise Awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis Disease

Jonathan Negretti, principal of Negretti & Associates, will be competing in the 2020 World Marathon Challenge, in which he will be running seven full marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Along the way, Negretti will be raising awareness and funds for Heather’s Mission, a nonprofit organization co-founded by his wife, Giana, to help those suffering from Crohn’s and Colitis Disease. reported that Negretti will be one of 50 race participants, but the only one with a disability — although he doesn’t see his condition as such. Negretti was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 20 years ago, requiring surgery that removed most of his large intestine. He has lived full-time with an ostomy bag ever since.

“Participating in the World Marathon Challenge is not only an epic personal challenge, but an incredible platform for me to raise awareness for Heather’s Mission,” Negretti told “My hope is to garner enough attention to make a difference in people’s lives and inspire others who are living with an ostomy.”

Negretti’s personal goal is to raise enough funds so that Heather’s Mission can purchase 1,000 Awesome Ollie teddy bears, which are distributed to patients who undergo ostomy surgeries. Negretti will take an Awesome Ollie bear around the globe with him on the World Marathon Challenge.

Races will start on Feb. 6, 2020, on the ice runway of Novolazarevskaya Station, Antarctica. Other marathons are scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Madrid, Spain; Santiago, Chile; and South Beach, Miami.

To learn more about Heather’s Mission, visit

jonathan negretti in arizona foothills magazineNegretti & Associates Principal Jonathan Negretti has been featured as a “Trendsetter to Know” by Arizona Foothills Magazine. The wide-ranging interview touches upon Negretti’s background and inspirations, and also offers a glimpse into his interests beyond the office.

Negretti, who is currently training for the World Marathon Challenge — seven marathons in seven days, on seven continents — wakes at 4:15 a.m. to hit the gym. “I typically put in two hours of mobility, strength, and endurance training each day,” he says. “By 8 a.m., I am answering emails and making phone calls.”

Family fuels his drive to succeed. “The one person who motivates me is my wife,” Negretti says. “She has no quit in her. She works out all the time. She has excelled in her career. She takes care of our home and is an amazing cook. She is a great step-mom to our kids and still finds time to make me feel loved. I don’t know how she does it.”

Negretti & Associates is a full-service personal injury law firm with offices in Phoenix, San Diego and Denver.

making your case simple

From the beginning, Negretti & Associates has wanted to change the way personal injury cases are handled. We have sought to simplify the process and make it easier for our clients to understand what’s happening with their cases.

We explain things in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way. Our thought is that if we deliver information in way that makes sense to our clients, then our clients can make educated decisions about their cases.

There Is No “I” in Team

Representing a client in a personal injury case requires a collaborative effort. We see our clients as teammates and collaborators. Everyone has different responsibilities and no one is more important than anyone else.

When we are hired by a client, we feel like we are being asked to join their team. We want to be the very best teammate that we can be. We use our legal education and experience to provide valuable insight to help our clients. We explain things with plain language and never talk down to our clients. There is no “I” in team.

Our Culture

At Negretti & Associates, our firm has embraced a culture of efficiency and communication. Our team works remotely on a daily basis.

Rather than wasting time commuting, we are answering emails, sending text messages, and making early morning phone calls. We believe this is one of our greatest strengths. We can be available and responsive when others are not.

As a result, we’re able to be nimble where other firms move slowly. Our team members are excited about the work that we do, and this ultimately means that we’re able to focus more on helping our clients.

Why Choose Negretti & Associates?

  • We will make your case simple for you.
  • We are a people-first personal injury team serving those injured in Arizona, California, and Colorado.
  • Not all news is good news, but we promise to be honest and update you in a straightforward fashion, in a way that you will understand.
  • We will vigilantly defend your rights and pursue any rightful claims for damages, medical expenses, and compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured.
  • We also understand the importance of securing compensation for future medical treatment.
  • We will also help you collect compensation for time you have to take off from work to deal with your injuries.
  • Our team of injury attorneys knows what it takes to win. We promise to fully investigate your claim and make sure you get the recovery you deserve.

rideshare accidents

Have you been in an accident involving a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft?  Were you the passenger? Were you in the other vehicle? What if the driver was on his way to pickup a passenger? Is there insurance coverage in these situations? It depends.

As millions of people use rideshare companies to get around, there is a lack of understanding of what happens and the potential issues arise when being injured due to a rideshare accident involving a driver from a rideshare company. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have transformed the public transportation industry.  Riders love the low cost, the convenience, the choices (luxury vehicle, SUV, fuel efficient vehicle), the overall friendly service and ability to rate their drivers.

When ridesharing companies first started about ten years ago, it was common practice for their drivers to use the driver’s own personal insurance policies for accident coverage. The problem with this practice was that most personal insurance policies did not cover the driver or their passenger(s) if the driver was operating the vehicle for commercial use. This left the victims of these accidents without a source of recovery.

As more serious accident began to occur, such as the death of a California woman while riding in a Lyft vehicle outside of Sacramento in 2014; rideshare companies and their drivers began to be more closely scrutinized by the public. The conversation about who was ultimately responsible for coverage (the driver or the rideshare company) forced changes in the industry.

Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft now provide their drivers with a $1 million dollar liability policy in the event of an accident. This means that the driver and their passenger(s) may be covered for damages. However, it is not that black and white. The coverage still depends on a variety of factors.

Both Uber and Lyft cover their drivers with a three-part insurance plan, which states:

  1. Driver Mode Off: If the rideshare driver is not driving for Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, their personal insurance policy will provide liability coverage for accidents caused by the driver. This means the $1 million dollar policy does not apply.

Many insurance companies now offer specific coverage for rideshare. However, it is up to the rideshare driver to look into their personal insurance and add rideshare coverage to their  policy. If the driver fails to do so, they could be personally liable if they are involved in an accident.

  1. Driver Mode On Without a Passenger: If the rideshare driver has the driver mode on and is waiting for a ride request when they are involved in an accident, the driver is covered under both Uber and Lyft’s contingent liability coverage. The contingent liability coverage is used in the event the driver’s personal insurance does not provide coverage or does not provide enough coverage. Lyft’s contingent liability coverage is $50,000.00 per person or $100,000.00 maximum per accident and $30,000.00 for property damage.

However, some states, including California, have created legislation (Assembly Bill 2293) to mandate a higher excess liability coverage when accidents occur during this phase of a rideshare driver’s employment. In 2015, California mandated that third-party liability insurance covering the costs of injury, death, and property damage must be at least $200,000.000.

Additionally, the law clarifies that driver’s personal insurance can no longer cover this time period. It must be covered by the rideshare company.  The new regulations have been put into place to prevent ridesharing companies from claiming their insurance policies should not kick in because drivers have personal coverage.

  1. Driver Mode On With a Passenger: If the rideshare driver has the driver mode on and is driving a passenger at the time of the accident, the driver and the passenger are generally covered by the ridesharing company’s liability coverage. Both Uber and Lyft have $1 million dollar liability coverage policies as well as $1million dollars in uninsured and underinsured coverage.

Rideshare accidents may be complicated, involve multiple insurance companies and need expert investigators.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a rideshare company it is important to contact an attorney at Negretti & Associates for a free consultation.

Negretti & Associates had another incredible turn out for our second Fill-A-Bag party for the Phoenix Rescue Mission on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

A huge thank you goes out to our incredible clients who have shown nothing but love and support donating to our endeavor to help make this world a better place.

We were able to donate 104 bags (1,012 lbs.) of food along with 25 bags (63 lbs.) of dog food to the mission this time.

We also want to thank Kneaders Cafe and Bakery in Scottsdale for letting us come and take over half of their restaurant to fill all of the bags.

From all of us at Negretti & Associates, we thank you!

day of giving 2017 day of giving 2017 day of giving 2017

With roughly 210 million licensed drivers cruising around the United States, it is not surprising that over 15,000 of them are involved in vehicle accidents every day. Often, accidents may have devastating effects to drivers and passengers, however, even if nobody is physically injured in a vehicle accident, it is important to know that the participants may still have suffered a financial injury involving their vehicle, known as diminished value.

If you have been involved in a collision in which your vehicle has been damaged and then repaired, diminished value is the difference between a car’s pre-accident value and its value after the repairs.  Even if your vehicle is expertly repaired, with no signs of damage, the fact that it has a damage history or is considered a vehicle that has been in an accident, will make its resale value lower in the eyes of prospective buyer.

However, there is a way in which to recover the diminished value of your vehicle.  A diminished value claim is when you request an amount of money from an insurance company to compensate you for the difference between your car’s value before an accident and its value after an accident.  In some cases, this value may amount to thousands of dollars for newer vehicles.

Each state has their individual diminished value laws. California, Arizona and Colorado are all diminished value states, which means that you may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle following an accident. The time period in which you must file a claim in order to bring a diminished value claim, or be barred from doing so, in Arizona and Colorado is two years, while in California it is three years.

Steps in a Diminished Value Claim

In most states, if you are at fault for the accident, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover the diminished value of your vehicle.  However, if you are not at fault for the accident, the first thing that you should do when pursuing a diminished value claim is speak with an experienced attorney.

An experienced attorney, like the ones at Negretti & Associates, will work closely with dedicated vehicle appraisers who can help to determine the amount of loss you will incur and the amount of the claim against the insurance company.  Insurance companies do not like paying for diminished value claims and will do everything they can to make it difficult for you to recover.  Many insurance companies save millions of dollars each year because accident victims do not know that they have the option of filing a diminished value claim.

You typically do not have the right to recover for a diminished value loss through your own insurance company.  This applies even when they repair your vehicle.  Therefore, it is extremely important that you put your own insurance company on notice of your intent to pursue a diminished value claim against the at-fault party.  If you do not do this, you could lose out on the property limits that are available to cover your loss.

Consequently, you will be making a diminished value claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company.  Diminished value claims can be very difficult to establish, so a professional evaluation from an appraiser that specializes in diminished value insurance loss is essential.  When evaluating your vehicle, an appraiser may look at things such as: what type of damage did the vehicle sustain, the condition and mileage of the vehicle prior to the accident, was the vehicle repaired to industry standards and has the vehicle been involved in other accidents.

Additionally, a trade-in value in writing from the dealership that you purchased the vehicle from can also help support your diminished value claim.  It is important to know, that in order to establish your vehicles diminished value, you do not have to sell your vehicle; the loss to you occurs at the time of the accident.

It is also helpful to take photos of each angle of your vehicle after the accident.  These photos can be used as evidence to help establish the damage done to your vehicle. It is also important to take photos of your vehicle after the accident to establish that your vehicle has been restored to its original condition.

Once your attorney has the pertinent information, they will begin negotiations with the at-fault insurance company. As mentioned above, diminished value claims are insurance companies unchecked lottery tickets, saving them millions of dollars a year.  Consequently, it may be very difficult negotiating with an insurance company regarding your diminished value claim making it very important that you contact an experienced attorney. The experienced attorneys at Negretti & Associates work with top industry appraisers and will fight for you as we pursue your diminished value loss.

Although swimming pools are a great source of entertainment and exercise, it is important for both parents and children to be educated about water safety and pool requirements in order to avoid unnecessary tragedy.

One of the countless benefits of living in Arizona is the many days of clear skies and sunshine.  Phoenix ranks fourth in the United States for annual days of sunshine, boasting 211 days of sunshine a year (Yuma, Arizona ranks number one).  With the amount of sunny days, it’s no wonder why the indoor-outdoor lifestyle is so common to Phoenicians.  Residents are accustomed to flip-flops year-round, daily applications of sunscreen, collections of sunglasses and swimming pools.

In most states, a swimming pool is a luxury, however, in Phoenix it is staple.  In fact, Phoenix ranks number one in the United States in residential pool ownership.

Two new reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“USCPSC”) cited that 390 children drown each year in the United States, with the majority of this number occurring in the summer. Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the USCPSC, puts that number into perspective explaining, “We are talking about 15 preschool classes lost in a pool or spa every year.”

In 2016 in Arizona alone, there were 157 water related incidents, 90 of which involved toddlers and infants, resulting in 16 deaths. In 2017 there have already been 44 deaths.  Subsequently, drowning is the leading cause of death in 1-4 year olds in Arizona.

Some of the common causes of drowning include:

  • Lack of swimming ability
  • No barriers surrounding the pool
  • Parents lack of supervision in the bathtub
  • Panic when in the water
  • Boating accidents
  • Fatigue
  • Concussion, heart attack or seizure while in the water
  • Alcohol use
  • Nonuse of lifejackets

Lori Schmidt, president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, says the “ABCs” of preventing drowning remain the first and best line of defense when working at eliminating child drowning tragedies.  Schmidt states, “The No. 1 thing people need to understand is we can prevent drowning so we need to make sure we take those steps to lower our chances. Drowning prevention is a three-pronged approach with the key being adult supervision.” The three prongs (ABC) include: adult supervision, barriers to water access and life vests and coast guard approved CPR classes for adults.

Additional ways to prevent drowning include:

  • Educating your child about pool safety, including, but not limited to: where they can swim, what activities are appropriate, if they may dive into a pool, what to do if they are struggling in any way, where the pool ladders or steps are located, what to do if another child is struggling in a pool and how to deal with pool or spa drains.
  • Instructing your children on what drowning means.
  • Installing pool barriers (it is the law). It is not enough to lock the house doors, children of all ages can think of crafty ways to open a locked door, go through a window or out a doggy door.
  • Parents must educate themselves, including CPR, proper supervision, and correct installation of pool drains and covers.
  • Appreciating and knowing the environment, including water depth, water current and terrain.
  • Enrolling your child in swimming lessons, children are able to begin swimming as young as six months of age. Both Hubbard Family Swim School and Aqua-Tots offer classes to children as young as four months of age through advanced swimmers.  Additionally, both companies offer classes for special needs children.
  • Never consuming alcohol while operating a boat or any type of watercraft.
  • Knowing, and being honest, about you, or your child’s swimming level.
  • Understanding how to choose and fit a life jacket.
  • Recognizing the risk of a “dry,” or delayed drowning.

The Arizona State Legislature has recognized the importance of pool safety and passed A.R.S. § 36-1681 to prevent children from gaining unsupervised access to residential swimming pools.  The statute includes requirements such as: pool enclosure height (must be at least five feet high), door and gate measurements, when a wall or barrier is necessary and enclosure distance from the water’s edge.

In part, A.R.S. § 36-1681 states:

“A. A swimming pool, or other contained body of water that contains water eighteen inches or more in depth at any point and that is wider than eight feet at any point and is intended for swimming, shall be protected by an enclosure surrounding the pool area, as provided in this section.

  1. A swimming pool or other contained body of water required to be enclosed by subsection A whether a belowground or aboveground pool shall meet the following requirements:
  2. Be entirely enclosed by at least a five-foot wall, fence or other barrier as measured on the exterior side of the wall, fence or barrier.
  3. Have no openings in the wall, fence or barrier through which a spherical object four inches in diameter can pass. The horizontal components of any wall, fence or barrier shall be spaced not less than forty-five inches apart measured vertically or shall be placed on the pool side of a wall, fence or barrier which shall not have any opening greater than one and three-quarter inches measured horizontally. Wire mesh or chain link fences shall have a maximum mesh size of one and three-quarter inches measured horizontally.
  4. Gates for the enclosure shall:

(a) Be self-closing and self-latching with the latch located at least fifty-four inches above the underlying ground or on the pool side of the gate with a release mechanism at least five inches below the top of the gate and no opening greater than one-half inch within twenty-four inches of the release mechanism or be secured by a padlock or similar device which requires a key, electric opener or integral combination which can have the latch at any height.

(b) Open outward from the pool.

  1. The wall, fence or barrier shall not contain openings, handholds or footholds accessible from the exterior side of the enclosure that can be used to climb the wall, fence or barrier.
  2. The wall, fence or barrier shall be at least twenty inches from the water’s edge.”

Additionally, public swimming pools in Arizona must be in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act.  The Act was signed by President Bush on December 2007, to prevent public swimming pool and spa accidents.

It only takes seconds for tragedy to occur.  Make sure that you have educated your household about the crucial elements of pool safety, so that your family may continue to enjoy Arizona’s sunny days and all the benefits a pool has to offer.   Should you need any assistance with a pool related injury, please contact Negretti & Associates for a free consultation.

On Thursday, June 15, the Negretti & Associates team, along with family and friends, came together to give back to those in our community who are less fortunate. Collectively, we packed 100 bags filled with food and other essential items — totaling more than 600 lbs. — for delivery to the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Our firm is not only passionate about taking care of our clients, but also giving back. This is why we have teamed up with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to help make a change in our growing world.

Phoenix Rescue Mission began in 1952 and continues to serve the Valley of the Sun and its people to this day. Their vision is a “community mobilized to transform lives and end hunger and homelessness.”

Negretti & Associates didn’t want to stop at filling 100 bags. We have decided to offer clients the opportunity to get involved, as well. Each client will have the ability to “donate” a bag once his or her case has been settled. Negretti & Associates will match their donations.

We offer a huge thanks to Kneaders Bakery Café on Hayden Road, who opened their doors to our firm, allowing us to pack all of the bags and showing their support for the cause as well. We are a community UNITED!

When asked about causes of vehicle accidents, most people immediately think of impairment, such as alcohol, or distracted driving, such as texting. However, drowsy, or fatigued driving kills, and is a major problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines drowsy driving as, “the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue,” and the National Sleep Foundation estimates that sixty percent of American adult drivers, about 168 million, say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, approximately 103 million people, have actually fallen asleep while driving!

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, 12.5 billion in monetary losses and 846 deaths in 2014. However, these numbers are believed to be underestimated, as it is difficult to determine if fatigue caused driver error, and up to 6,000 fatal crashes may be caused by drowsy drivers each year.

The Warning Signs of Fatigued Driving

  • Disconnected thoughts or daydreaming.
  • Frequent blinking or heavy eyelids.
  • Persistent yawning or rubbing your eyes.
  • Feeling irritable or restless.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Trouble remembering driving the last few miles.
  • Missing your exit, road signs or traffic signs.
  • Hitting the rumble strips, tailgating or drifting into other lanes.

Fatigued driving is so dangerous because it impairs reaction time, reduces a driver’s vigilance and causes problems with processing information.

How to Determine a Fatigued Driver

In our fast-paced society people have learned to juggle many different responsibilities, including family, work and social life which may cause some to be exhausted by the end of the day. Although most people are prone to being fatigued at specific times, there are certain people that may experience a higher risk of fatigued driving, including:

  • Shift workers: People who work rotating shifts, nights shifts, double shifts or work more than one job are six-times more likely to be involved in a fatigued driving accident. Shift work may also lead to certain disorders, for example, according to the Alaska Sleep Education Center, shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia. People who tend to work unusual schedules have their circadian rhythms disrupted, which may cause a number of physiological and mental problems.
  • Medication Side Effects: Many medications include sleepiness as a side effect. People that take these medications have a higher risk of fatigued driving. Examples of medications that have a sedating effect are: cold tablets, antihistamines and antidepressants, among others.
  • Drivers with untreated sleep disorders: Drivers that do not treat sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”), narcolepsy and insomnia have a higher risk than the average driver for fatigued driving accidents. In all of these disorders the most common symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Age: Young drivers, from teen years to 25 years old (especially males) are considered an age group that is most likely to be involved in a fatigued driving accident. According to the NHTSA, “drivers younger than 30 accounted for almost two-thirds of drowsy-driving crashes, despite representing only about one-fourth of licensed drivers. These drivers were four times more likely to have such a crash than were drivers ages 30 years or older.” There are many theories as to why young drivers are involved in such a high percentage of fatigued driving accidents, however, the most common theory is that inexperience combined with sleepiness and the tendency to drive at night increases risk.
  • Commercial Drivers: People that drive a large number of miles and drive at night are at a much higher risk for fatigued driver accidents. Commercial drivers have also been found to be at a high risk for sleep disorders.
  • Business Travelers: People who travel frequently for their jobs or for leisure who may be suffering from jet lag and crossing different time zones, or spending long hours behind the wheel are also at an increased risk of being involved in a fatigued driver accident.

fatigued driving

Fatigued Driving Prevention

Many people believe that they can just “power through” a difficult driving situation by turning on the radio or rolling down their window to get some fresh air, however, these tactics do little to actually combat fatigued driving. There are better ways to prevent drowsy driving, before hitting the road drivers should:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before a long drive.
  • When taking longer trips plan to do the majority of your driving during the day.
  • If you are feeling fatigued, or notice signs that you may be drowsy, and you have a passenger in the vehicle, ask the passenger to drive.
  • If you are feeling drowsy, pull over and rest or sleep at a rest stop.
  • Use caffeine, which will provide a short-term boost, however, the effects may only last up to an hour and do not provide a long-term solution.
  • Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any possible sleeping disorders.
  • If you are driving a long distance, schedule regular stops every 100 miles or two hours.

Get Involved

The National Sleep Foundation sponsors Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, an annual, national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while tired. In 2016, Drowsy Driving Prevention Week was November 6-13. The campaign chooses a week in November every year; people that are interested in Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, or becoming a Drowsy Driving Advocate, may find more information here.