By pushing for changes, we can avoid automobile tragedies like the one that killed Monique Munoz

Los Angeles-based personal injury attorney David Azizi would like to see California lawmakers and vehicle manufacturers enact changes that could potentially avoid accidents like the one that senselessly killed Monique Munoz.

By David Azizi

Rarely has a day gone by since the Feb. 17 death of Monique Munoz at the hands of a speeding, teenaged driver that I haven’t thought about how such a horrific tragedy could have been avoided.

In some ways, I am still haunted by the senseless death of the 32-year-old Munoz some four months later. Such is the curse when you are a personal injury lawyer, and it’s your job in life to try and protect the safety of people often negatively impacted by the negligence of others. As for myself, I am constantly thinking of ways that tragedies — such as the foolish one that cost Ms. Munoz her life — can be prevented in the future.

By now, I’m sure most Southern Californians and millions of people throughout the U.S. have heard about what happened to Ms. Munoz at approximately 5:15 p.m. PT on Feb. 17 in West L.A. She died at the scene after her Lexus sedan was violently slammed into by a Lamborghini SUV that was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour along Olympic Blvd. near Overland Ave.

The fact that the racing Lamborghini Urus that killed Ms. Munoz was being driven by a 17-year-old boy only made the horrific incident even more tragic. Not only did an innocent person die, but the life course of a teenager was dramatically altered by this almost inconceivable tragedy.

For months, I’ve thought about how such a horrific event could have been prevented so that these families wouldn’t have had to suffer as they have. My Los Angeles-based practice, Azizi Law Firm, handles hundreds of cases a year where innocent people are killed or seriously injured by the recklessness or negligence of others. It’s ultimately our purpose to make sure they get the kind of representation that will bring them and their families justice.

Though lawyers occasionally get a bad rep, I see us as the police of the laws of the land. If we see people being wronged by the negligence of others or injured by repairable flaws in the system, we file lawsuits. Not only do those cases help to bring justice to our clients, but they often result in changes that help our world be a safer place to live.

In the case of the late Ms. Munoz and the teen driver who has already pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter, we badly need to enact some changes that can prevent similar deadly incidents from happening again.

The two solutions that I have come up with: Apps that alert parents (and maybe even the police) to when teenaged drivers are traveling in great excess of the speed limit. Secondly, I think we must demand that carmakers further the automation of vehicles so that violent collisions can be prevented.

I’m a parent, and once my kids are of driving age, I want there to be technology in place that will alert me when they are driving way above the speed limit. If my child is driving 55 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per- hour zone, I want to know about it so that I can immediately alert them to slow down and be safe. There also should be technology in phones and in the vehicle that alerts drivers that they are driving at a high rate of speed and could be greatly endangering the lives of themselves and others. Popular iPhone and Android apps such as Canary, M Spy, RapidProtect, MobiFlock and MamaBear Child Tracker are must-haves for parents and are tremendous for helping to monitor the speeds and driving habits of teens.

In my opinion, the State of California and the California Highway Patrol should enact laws that require all teenaged drivers to have these speed- monitoring devices in their vehicles in order to get a driver’s license. Parents are ultimately responsible for the actions of their children and they need to know when their teens are putting the safety of themselves and others in serious danger.

Also, I think we all need to demand that automobile makers only manufacture automated vehicles going forward so that the most violent of crashes can be avoided.

I know that I’ve had occasions in the past where I’ve got momentarily distracted while driving and the next thing I know my Tesla is slamming on the brakes to help avoid a wreck. In terms of fender benders, the cars aren’t really set up to avoid those, but the automation in vehicles now can help us avoid the types of violent collisions that lead to serious injuries and deaths. Automated cars now are smart enough to realize, ‘I’m traveling at a high rate of speed and there isn’t going to be enough distance left to stop if I don’t slow down,’ so it automatically lowers the speed of the vehicle. In my opinion, all newly manufactured vehicles should have this technology going forward.

My hope, of course, is that serious accidents — ones that often occur because drivers are distracted — can be prevented. We’ll never be able to get rid of all the dangers of driving, and minor accidents will always happen, but with more self-driving vehicles and ones that feature automation, maybe we can drastically reduce the number of deadly crashes.

We’ll never be able to undo the events of Feb. 17 that led to the tragic death of Ms. Munoz by the reckless speeding of a 17-year-old driver. Her death still haunts me and that’s why I feel it’s imperative now to speak up to try to avoid similar tragedies. We owe it to Ms. Munoz’s memory to try and use this horrific accident to spark change and make the world safer.

At Azizi Law Firm, we work on a daily basis to represent people harmed by the negligence of others. In my opinion, it would be negligent now of us to not speak up on Ms. Munoz’s behalf and try to enact changes that will prevent future tragedies. Demanding things like speed-notifying apps and increased automation in vehicles are safety measures that we can push for to avoid similar losses of life.


David Azizi is a highly successful personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. After graduating summa cum lade from UCLA and Southwestern University of Law, he started Azizi Law Firm in 1998 and he has had a 98% success rate through the years while landing several multi-million dollar settlements for his clients. The organization “Super Lawyers” has selected Azizi as one of LA’s top lawyers six times, while Avvo recently gave Azizi Law Firm a “superb” rating and named Azizi to its “Top 25 Injury Lawyers in LA” list.

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