Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Safety-Campaign-on-Reducing-Drunk-DrivingFor decades, state agencies and local communities have initiated mass media campaigns to promote public health and reduce drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents. Keeping the public aware is essential because according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), on average, 28 individuals in America lose their lives each day to alcohol-related crashes at the rate of one every 51 minutes. With more than 13,000 lives lost every year in the U.S., eliminating dangerous behavior behind the wheel can make traveling safer for everyone sharing the road.

In 1983, the NHTSA launched its “Friends Don’t Lead Friends Drive Drunk” campaign in an effort to prevent alcohol-impaired friends and family members from driving after drinking. Fifteen years later in 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the nation had its lowest number of roadway accident fatalities involving alcohol since the government agency gathering statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has continually sponsored this highly successful campaign along with others including their “Drinking and Driving Can Kill a Friendship” public safety announcement.

Surveys show that seven out of every ten Americans at some point since the campaign was initially launched have attempted to stop another person from driving after drinking. The agency’s newest campaign “Probably Okay Isn’t Okay” asks the viewer to assess how they look for obvious and not so obvious indicators of impairment on themselves and others when deciding to get behind the wheel.

Reasons for AccidentsSome of the most catastrophic accidents occur when a driver headed down the highway suddenly spots a truck or car traveling directly toward them in the wrong direction that that could cause a horrific head-on collision. Usually, these accidents are avoided because of median barriers that stop errant driving and roadway signage that clearly identifies the direction of traffic to prevent drivers from entering the road the wrong way.

However, according to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, more than 350 individuals lose their lives every year in wrong way driving crashes even on roads where the direction of the traffic is clearly marked. Even though wrong way crashes are an uncommon occurrence, affecting just a small percentage of all accidents involving motor vehicles, these types of collisions lead the pack again all motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities. These types of pressures have a high fatality rate range between 12% and 27%, which is disproportionately higher than other types of vehicle-related crashes and collision.

Wrong way collisions typically involve a head-on impact at a high rate of speed that often results in a horrific injury or fatality involving both drivers and passengers. Any vehicle occupant who survives the accident usually sustains an extremely severe injury that causes long-term residual problems in the future. Most survivors require constant rehabilitation and ongoing surgeries to restore basic functions or repair broken or crossbones bones and other severe injuries to other extremities. This includes head trauma, brain injuries, whiplash, or injury to the chest, spinal cord, ribs, and/or abdomen. Paralysis is also a common result of wrong way driving crashes.

Electronic-devices-and road-safetyIllinois motorists receive constant reminders through public service announcements and safety campaigns that educate them about avoiding the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while operating their vehicle. This is because distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of fatal car accidents statewide involving writing, sending, and reading messages using an electronic device or speaking on a smartphone. The devices known to put drivers and passengers at great risk when causing a distraction include:

  • Smartphones
  • Cell phones

Traffic Safety Program in IllinoisThe Illinois State Police increased enforcement efforts to maximize the safety of the traveling public over busy holidays throughout the year by participating in traffic safety programs. The holiday safety campaigns managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation through its Bureau Safety Programs and Engineering help to reduce the number of accidents involving injuries and fatalities. Through grant funding, these campaigns allow state and local law enforcement agencies that work in conjunction to identify traffic related violations including impaired driving.

Safety Programs Catch Violators

Throughout the year, nearly 150 local and state police agencies in Illinois participate in enforcement activities during the state’s major holidays. This includes increasing patrol hours during the day and night and focusing their “concentration on impaired driving violations.” During this timeframe, citations for traffic violations rise significantly. Been stopped by the police is known to increase public awareness of the seriousness of breaking the law by driving recklessly, carelessly, distracted or drunk. Citations involving occupant restraint violations also increase during daylight hours, when observing the driver can be conducted.

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.

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