Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Car Headlights and SafetyNumerous studies have shown that a practice as simple as turning on your headlights whenever you are driving may reduce your chances of being in an accident. While car manufacturers are beginning to produce more vehicles with daytime running lights, this is not mandated by the government and most vehicles remain without them. Since it would take an incredibly long time to phase out all of the cars and trucks on the road today in order to replace them with vehicles that used daytime running lights, there is a debate running that the burden should instead be on drivers to run their lights at all times via the introduction of new laws.

Headlights Make Cars More Visible During the Day

Even though headlights are most effective at night and during inclement weather, research is showing that they do make vehicles more visible to other motorists during a clear day as well. While each study varies, some have noted that headlight use during the day has resulted in a reduction of accidents by up to 10%. The types of accidents which were prevented were more significant, however.

Safety in Work ZonesWith spring upon us and summer approaching, more people are taking to the roads as the weather allows them to enjoy travel and the outdoors. This is also when construction crews are most active repairing the roads and preparing them for the abuse they will endure in the coming winter months. An accident on I-80 heading eastbound out of Davenport, IA has reminded us of how quickly things can turn south when negligent drivers do not slow down for construction workers. This particular accident has claimed the life of a construction worker who had dedicated more than ten years of his life to the trade.

Fatal Crash is one of a Growing Number of Incidents in Warm Weather

A construction worker was backing a pickup truck onto I-80 when he was struck by a truck driver heading east. The worker was killed and the incident sends an eerie reminder to the many road crew members that dedicate their lives to building and repairing our motorways that life is more fragile than they believe. Dayton Handle, another longtime road crew veteran, recounts how he worries every single day about what may happen on the job.

Distracted driving has been a growing concern over the last decade and state and local governments are beginning to respond by implementing severe laws that would deter drivers from using or even looking at their cellphones while they are on the road. California enacted a law in the beginning of 2017 that will prohibit drivers from using their phone for any purpose whatsoever while in their hands or laps. The public has already responded with citizens taking up both sides of the issue in their remarks. For many who fear for their own safety, the law has been long overdue.

Closure of a Loophole Which Made Previous Laws Difficult to Enforce

California New Distracted Driving Law The new law is very similar to an existing California law that prohibited the use of cellphones while driving to make calls or to text. Drivers could still use hands-free calling and were able to use phones to browse social media, access music playlists and to even film themselves and others while their vehicles were in motion. All of these activities detract from the ability of a driver to focus on the road ahead and commonsense has not prevailed in history.

Payment Coverage on your Auto Insurance PolicyIllinois vehicle accident attorneys deal with many people who question if they need medical payment coverage on their auto policy. They may not understand what medical payment coverage is, or they may find it redundant to add another fee to their auto insurance, especially if they already have health insurance.

Many individuals only think of the damage to their car in the event of an accident, but an injury to yourself and other passengers is just as important. Medical payment coverage can cover the holes in other insurance policies you have and ensure that you are covered if and when you get into an accident.

How Medical Payment Coverage Works

Levels of THC in Medical Marijuana and its' EffectsAs cannabis continues to be legalized throughout the United States (both for medical reasons and recreational use), it has proven important to both lawmakers and police officers to find a way to test the impairedness of a driver who has THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in their system. The main issue with finding a standardizing level of THC-impairedness is that THC is not processed in the same way as alcohol. While the legal limit for alcohol is easy to measure at 0.08 using proven devices, it is difficult to determine a specific amount of THC that encompasses its effects for everyone who uses it.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical responsible for producing most of the psychological effects of smoking and consuming marijuana. The chemical effects of cannabinoid receptors concentrated in specific areas of the brain that are known to affect memory, thinking, coordination, pleasure and time perception. While the human body naturally makes cannabinoid chemicals, the compound THC can also be consumed or inhaled from the resin in the glands of marijuana plants. The chemical stimulates brain cells to release dopamine which in many creates euphoria along with other stated side effects.

Marijuana and DrivingHorror stories about innocent drivers being hit head-on by drivers who have been using illegal drugs have been spreading throughout the media as of late. One such story is that of Blake Gaston, a twenty-three-year-old who had just left a restaurant on his motorcycle when he was hit by a driver who had been smoking marijuana.

Gaston was an accomplished musician and website designer whose future was bright–until it was ended by an irresponsible driver. Gaston’s mother, who was present at the scene of the accident, was horrified by the incident and saddened by the fact that her son’s life was taken at such a young age. “Blake was going to change the world,” she said. Her hug goodbye to her son as he left the restaurant was the last time she would embrace him before she saw him bleeding to death only fifty feet away.

Jake Nelson, the Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research at AAA, said that “driving is already a tough task. When you add a drug that impairs our ability to manage that task, it’s a recipe for disaster.” This recipe for disaster calls for many Illinois impaired driving accident attorneys to file claims and work for compensation for those who have been injured or otherwise affected by an impaired driver.

Detecting Distracted Driver AccidentsMore than eight individuals lose their lives every day by distracted driving and another 1000 are injured. Even more disturbing, this is the first time in 10 years that the number of car accidents in America has risen significantly. Sadly, this spike in the number of car crashes is the result of texting while driving. Fortunately, the new Textalyzer device might be the answer to the problem with its ability to detect when a vehicle operator is texting while behind the wheel.

While drunk driving has always known to be dangerous to the motorist, passengers and others sharing the roadway, texting while driving is just as bad as driving impaired by alcohol or drugs. This is because texting causes the driver to avert their eyes from the roadway to send or read a text message. The amount of time it takes to read a simple text while traveling at 55 miles an hour is equal to the distance of a football field. In that distance, a myriad of obstacles can appear that could result in a crash.

The Textalyzer device is to distracted driving what a breathalyzer is to drunk driving. New York legislators are considering equipping police officers in New York with a Textalyzer device to help determine if the motorist involved in a collision was texting while driving. The proposed bill under consideration proposes to allow law enforcement authorities the legal right to examine smartphones at the scene of an accident.

Summer Driving SeasonStatistics reveal that the summer months are the most dangerous time of the year for teenage drivers. With school out for the summer months, many teenagers have additional time away from their academic responsibilities to spend time with family and friends. Part-time jobs, pool parties and gatherings often require teen drivers to spend more time on the road. More than 1000 individuals lose their lives every year in automobile crashes involving teenage drivers.

For teen motorists, the seven deadliest days for driving fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day. According to statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest number of fatal accidents occur in the early part of June, on the Fourth of July, in the middle of July, and during the first few weeks in August.

A study by AAA (American Automobile Association) confirmed that six out of 10 crashes with teenage drivers behind the wheel also involve distractions. Some of these distractions included talking with friends inside the vehicle, speaking on mobile phones, texting, reading emails, consuming beverages, eating or fatigue. The study also revealed that half of all teenage drivers admitted to reading emails and text messages while driving in the previous month.

Self Driving Cars and SafetyA proposal by the Obama administration opens up the possibility of government funding into research that will eventually lead to the development of a self-driving vehicle. If the administration has its way, $4 billion in funding will be committed over a ten year period in the hopes that an autonomous vehicle will greatly reduce the number of fatal accidents experienced each year. In recent history, technology has become a source of distraction and led to an increase in auto related fatalities despite more advanced safety technologies. Self-driving vehicles could be the solution to this dilemma, as they would allow drivers to multitask without placing themselves and others at risk.

Proposal Includes Updates to Infrastructure

Investing in technology connected roads is critical to the invention of an autonomous vehicle and President Obama has addressed this need in his 2017 budget proposal, which will commit funds to the development of vehicle technology as well as roadways that are compatible with the new vehicles. Automakers are already in a race to develop the first self-driving vehicle, but this proposal will clear financial obstacles standing in their way by allotting exemptions for up to 2,500 test vehicles to be used in real on-road tests.

Accident Frequency in Chicago Hurts AllstateAllstate is being squeezed by rising accident rates and more severe auto related injuries throughout the Chicago area. In Chicago alone, 130 vehicular fatalities were reported and the average number of accidents reported across Illinois each day has risen to almost 800. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have noticed a corresponding increase in the number of cases we’ve taken on as a result and are concerned by current statistical trends. In addition to costing victims more money for expensive medical care, the increased accident rates are forcing insurance companies like Allstate to make adjustments to their business models to remain profitable.

Falling Gas Prices Reflect Rising Death Rates

Gas prices have plummeted over the last few years, prompting more people to purchase vehicles and to drive more frequently. This is one of the contributing factors to the increase in accidents over this time period, but other factors have equal weight. New technologies provide additional distractions to drivers and when combined with increased traffic volume, create a recipe for more accidents and more severe injuries.

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