Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

September 30, 2011

Lax Enforcement May Increase Your Risk of a Chicago Taxi Cab Accident

Bad cab drivers are frequently let off the legal hook -- leaving them behind the wheel and increasing your risk for a Chicago taxi cab accident.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have watched as the government has waged a number of high-profile campaigns against unsafe commercial drivers this year. Commercial bus drivers and truck drivers have come under increasing fire. Cab drivers are often overlooked, however, despite the risk to passengers and other motorists. 898330_chicago_michigan_av_at_night.jpg

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cook County judges have dismissed the vast majority of tickets given to cabbies. In one case, a cabbie was ticketed 34 times since 2008 -- violations included driving twice the posted speed limit, blowing through stop signs and causing at least three crashes before striking a pedestrian crossing Michigan Avenue.


But almost all the tickets were wiped from his driving record, permitting him to renew his license to drive a cab, year after year. The Tribune study found that chauffeur's licenses are routinely renewed -- even after a cabbie causes an accident that seriously injures or kills a pedestrian.

The city has a three-ticket-per-year limit for flagging dangerous cabbies. It uses a two-prong process to identify bad cabbies -- traffic court and citizen complaints. However, the Tribune review found cabbies faced few consequences for current violations. A review of 28 heavily ticketed drivers found two-thirds of violations were dismissed -- or about double the dismissal rate for the average motorist.

"When you have these repeat offenders who are still on the road, that's creating a lot of danger and a lot of unsafe conditions," said Ethan Spotts of the Chicago advocacy group Active Transportation Alliance. "People shouldn't be afraid to walk."

Safety advocates have a right to be frustrated. We continue to point out efforts to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety within the city. No driver should be permitted to remain licensed with a deplorable driving record -- the fact that it is being permitted among drivers for hire is an outrage.

Meanwhile, the cab industry says drivers are ticketed more frequently because they spend so much more time on the road; and dismissals are likely high because they are more aggressive when it comes to combating the tickets and saving their jobs.

Continue reading "Lax Enforcement May Increase Your Risk of a Chicago Taxi Cab Accident" »

September 26, 2011

Study Focuses on Countermeasures to Reduce Risks of Distracted-Driving Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released a summary of the affects and consequences of distracted driving. The organization is giving the information to states, which are encouraged to make changes.

The information was taken from nearly 400 papers written between 2000 and 2011 about driver distraction. According to distraction.gov, more than 5,400 people were killed in 2009 because of car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere that involved a distracted driver. Approximately 448,000 people were injured because of these incidents.
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Out Chicago personal injury attorneys understand that distracting diving habits can oftentimes produce fatal consequences. Distractions affect a driver's ability to react to road hazards and could be involved in as many as 30 percent of all traffic fatalities. The new report, "Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do." aims to determine which countermeasures can be taken by state officials to help reduce the risks of these types of accidents.

The study was funded by a grant from State Farm. The report also illustrates exactly what distracted driving is, how a distraction can impact a driver's abilities, how often motorists are distracted behind the wheel, and what the crash risks are for these types of accidents.

“Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know,” said GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha.

The distracted driving report made the following findings:

-Distractions significantly affect a driver's performance.

-Drivers have been found to drive while distracted about half of the time they're behind the wheel.

-Drivers have the ability to adapt. Drivers are able to focus more of their attention on driving and reduce the attention focused on a distraction in a risky driving scenario.

-Texting behind the wheel is much more dangerous that using a cell phone while driving.

States, according to the report, should consider the following countermeasures to combat the problem:

-Continue low-cost road measures, including centerline rumble strips. These strips alert drivers that a vehicle is drifting out of the lane.

-Consider enacting a texting ban for all drivers.

-Consider enacting a complete cell phone ban for all drivers. This ban is most effective when hands-free devices are included in the law.

-Keep a record of all distracted-driving accidents. This information will help officials to evaluate any current distracted driving laws or programs.

-Conduct research before enacting new distracted driving-related laws. Government officials should research areas in which the desired laws are already in effect to determine how they could potentially affect local traffic.

-Continue to enforce current distracted driving-related laws.

-Encourage all employers to create and enforce an anti-cell phone policy in the workplace. This is especially important for employees who drive on the job.

In the state of Illinois, all drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving through a school zone or in a highway construction zone. All school bus drivers and those who are under the age of 19 are also prohibited from using a cell phone while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. All drivers in the City of Chicago have been banned from using a hand held cell phone while driving. No driver is the state is allowed to text while driving.

Continue reading "Study Focuses on Countermeasures to Reduce Risks of Distracted-Driving Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere" »

September 24, 2011

Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off to Help Save Children in Illinois Car Accidents

National Passenger Safety Week is taking place from September 18th to the 24th. During this time, the Illinois State Police (ISP) will be continuing its efforts to help keep child passengers safe in the event of a car accident in Chicago or elsewhere in the state. During the 2011 safety campaign, the Department of Human Services will be joining the ISP to conduct a number of events and child seat inspections to help parents to learn how to properly buckle a child in a motor vehicle.
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ISP Trooper Mindy Carroll says that all parents and guardians are encouraged to attend these events and to have their child's car seat inspected by a certified technician. During this time, parents will be taught how to properly buckle in a child's car seat. Recent statistics show that roughly 75 percent of child seats are improperly installed into motor vehicles.

Our Illinois child injury attorneys ask that all parents do their part to help keep our children safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 1,500 children who were age 14-years-old or younger who were killed and another 180,000 who were injured in motor-vehicle accidents in 2009 in the U.S. We would also like to point out that nearly 250 child lives ages 4 and younger were saved in 2008 because they were properly buckled in their child seat. When these seats are used properly, they can reduce the risk of death by more than 70 percent for infants. The seats have the ability to decrease the risk of death for toddlers aged 1- to 4-years-old by more than 50 percent. Booster seats can reduce the risk of injury for children ages 4- to 7-years-old by nearly 60 percent.

"It's very important the car seat is secured properly inside the car and the child is secured properly inside the seat," says Carroll.

According to Carroll, the ISP follows the most recent child car seat recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Carroll goes on to instruct Illinois parents to keep all children that are under the age of 13 in the back seat. She also suggests that you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as they're within the seat's height and weight limits as set forth by the manufacturer.

Illinois has enacted the Child Passenger Protection Act to further its efforts to keep our child passengers safe. This Act holds parents and guardians responsible for keeping children under the age of 8 safely and properly restrained in a child-safety seat. If you're busted with a child passenger who is not properly restrained, you can face a $75 fine for the first conviction. Illinois will waive the fee if you can prove that you have purchased or received an approved child seat and have had a technician properly install it into the vehicle.

Continue reading "Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off to Help Save Children in Illinois Car Accidents" »

September 23, 2011

IDOT Teams with NASCAR to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Chicago

Rain may have delayed the Geico 400 until Monday, but nothing takes away from the fact that the state of Illinois recently celebrated its 5th NASCAR race weekend. And this year, the weekend face opened up the 10-race Chase for the Championship.

From September 15th through the 18th, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) joined forces with Chicagoland Speedway and NASCAR to help raise awareness about the importance of safe driving habits. The event promoted both the "Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk" and the "Buckle Up America" safety campaigns in an effort to reduce the number of car accidents in Chicago, both on race weekend and through the upcoming holiday season.

“This productive relationship and popular racing venue has helped us deliver a positive message and dramatically impact driving behavior,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.
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Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand that our state is the very first to team up with NASCAR to promote safe driving habits. Included in the event was prize drawings and a pledge for participants to make to drive safely on our roadways. Outreach programs were held in Champions Park, on the main Concourse, in the Midway and in the KidsZone. Child passenger safety was also a hot topic of the event. Drivers were urged to keep an eye on their speeds and to beware the dangers of potential driver distractions.

The vice president of public affairs and multicultural development, Marcus Jadotte, says the he and NASCAR were thrilled to be able to join efforts with IDOT and the Chicagoland Speedway. He says that this event was an excellent example of how the partnership continues to send a positive message to motorists, communities and NASCAR fans.

IDOT also invited a number of NASCAR racing teams to this year's event. With them came corporate sponsors and a number of drivers. Everyone joined together to support the cause.

NASCAR drivers in attendance at this year's event:

-Carl Edwards

-Clint Bowyer

-Reed Sorenson

-Trevor Bayne

-Stanton Barrett

-Colin Braun

-Cale Gale

-Kurt Busch

-David Ragan

-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

-Travis Kvapil

-Johnny Benson

-Erik Darnell

One of the tops causes for car accidents in our area is driver inattention. We can all do our part to help reduce the risks of these accidents by just focusing some of our attention inward and correcting our own driving deficiencies. Some of these poor driving habits include driver fatigue, driver distractions, impaired driving and speeding. These are all poor habits that come with simple fixes.

In Illinois, there were nearly 290,000 traffic accidents in 2010. About 89,000 people were injured in these accidents and nearly 930 were killed. Although this is the lowest number of traffic accident-related deaths that have been recorded since 1921, we're still experiencing far too many. These numbers can be significantly reduced with safe, cautious and alert driving habits.

Continue reading "IDOT Teams with NASCAR to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Chicago " »

September 21, 2011

Driver's Ed Vehicles Could Be Endangering Teens in Chicago Car Accidents

Your teen driver may be learning to drive in a vehicle that has some of the worst safety ratings. The Chicago Tribune looked into the matter in an attempt to figure out which cars our young drivers are learning in and the results are frightening.

A large number of Chicagoland schools are putting our teens in the driver's seat of vehicles that would likely not adequately protect them in the event of a Chicago car accident.
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Our Chicago injury attorneys understand that the type of vehicle that a motorists drives has a significant impact on occupant safety in the event of an accident. Motorists are asked to consider crash and safety ratings before selecting a vehicle to purchase. The make and model of your car can mean the difference between life and death.

After examining the vehicles of 50 schools in the area, the Chicago Tribune discovered the following about driver's education vehicles:

-Safety is hardly ever a top concern for Illinois officials and schools district leaders when selecting a vehicle for students to drive throughout a driver's education course.

-The safety rating of a vehicle in a driver's education program varies widely according to the location of the school.

-Virtually no agency keeps track of the kind of vehicles and the safety rating of the course cars.

-Few regulations govern the selection process and the use of these vehicles.

Cars.com examined vehicles that were used for driver's training programs during the 2010 school year and discovered that many of the vehicles completely failed on crash-test scores.

The bottom 10 districts for driver's education vehicle safety:

1.) Chicago Public Schools. Grade: F

2.) Elgin, Ill., U-46. Grade: F

3.) (tie) Township District 214 Grade F

3.) (tie) Vernon Hills, Ill., District 128. Grade: F

5.) Romeoville, Ill., Valley View District 365U. Grade: F

6.) (tie) Hinsdale, Ill., District 86. Grade: F

6.) (tie) Woodstock, Ill., District 200. Grade: F

8.) Warren Township District 121. Grade: D-

9.) (tie) Elmhurst, Ill., District 205. Grade: D+

9.) (tie) Palatine, Ill., Township District 211. Grade: D+

Chicago Public Schools, operated the largest driver's education course in the state. This district reportedly uses vehicles with poor safety ratings. Most of the vehicles used in this program are older than the students.

The top 10 districts for driver's education vehicle safety:

1.) (tie) Bloom Township District 206. Grade: A+

1.) (tie) Orland Park, Ill., Community High School District 230. Grade: A+

3.) Niles, Ill., District 219. Grade: A+

4.) (tie) Lyons Township High School District. Grade: A

4.) (tie) J. Sterling Morton School District 201. Grade: A

6.) Naperville, Ill., District 203. Grade: A

7.) Community High School District 218. Grade: B

8.) Rich Township District 227. Grade: B

9.) (tie) Proviso Township District 209. Grade: B

9.) (tie) Thornton Township District 205. Grade: B

"You don't want these young drivers in cars that don't have air bags or that are 10 or 15 years old and frankly are unsafe," said aid Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest.

The average age for vehicles that were used in the 2010 and 2011 school year for these programs was slightly newer than 5-years-old. More than half of the vehicles were purchased after 2009. Nearly 70 percent of the vehicles were purchased by districts after 2006. More than 80 percent of these vehicles we purchased after 2001.

Safety should be a top concern of all district officials. Student drivers need to be equipped with vehicles that have the ability to save a life in the event of an accident. Poorly maintained and aging vehicles are unacceptable for our inexperienced drivers who are already at a high risk for a car accident.

Continue reading "Driver's Ed Vehicles Could Be Endangering Teens in Chicago Car Accidents" »

September 19, 2011

Simple and Old-Fashioned Tips to Prevent Injury in a Chicago Car Accident

There are a few simple steps that motorists can take on our roadways to help save lives in the event of a car accident in Chicago. Some of the simplest steps include wearing a seat belt and ensuring that all child passengers are properly buckled up as well.

According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, some of the oldest safety precautions outweigh the benefits of new-car technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were more than 32,750 people killed because of traffic accidents in 2009 in the United States.
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Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that seat belts are one of the biggest lifesavers in the event of an accident. As a matter of fact, it's reported that more than 12,700 lives were saved in 2009 because of the use of seat belts. Estimates conclude that nearly 3,700 child lives over the age of four could have been saved if parent's would have properly buckled them in.

Seat belt usage is up a significantly from just 10 years ago. Many safe-driving advocates credit this increase to high-visibility enforcement efforts from law enforcement agencies and the increase in the number of states to enact primary seat belt laws. The national seat belt usage rate was about 85 percent in 2010.

Primary seat belt laws make it okay for officers to pull over a motorist simply for not wearing a seat belt. More than 30 states, including the District of Columbia currently have primary belt laws.

A parent can also help to save their child's life by properly buckling them up during all trips in the car. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made some changes to its child safety seat recommendations, asking parents to keep their children in rear-facing car seats until they're 2-years-old or until they've reached the seat's height and weight limitations. Once a child has exceeded the limits for their rear-facing car seat, parents are urged to make the switch to the front-facing car seat.

Unfortunately, properly fastening these seats to the vehicle's seat is no easy task. As a matter of fact, more than 70 percent of parents misuse their child's car seat. CarSafety.org offers you a list of instructions on how to properly buckle in your safety seat. The website also provides you with reviews on popular car seats.

Once your child has outgrown their current front-facing car seat, it's time to advance them to a booster seat. Ideally, you want to place your child in a booster seat once they turn 13 or once they're 4 feet 9 inches.

“Any restraint is better than none, but to be most effective, it’s important that the restraint fits both the child and the vehicle,” says Institute senior vice president for research Anne McCartt.

Some of the best prevention measures rest in the hands of drivers. Motorists are urged to remain cautious and focused at the wheel at all times. Safe driving habits and proper restraints can help to keep you, your family and other motorists safe in the event if a car accident.

Continue reading "Simple and Old-Fashioned Tips to Prevent Injury in a Chicago Car Accident" »

September 18, 2011

Fatigued Drivers Contributing to Risk of Car Accidents in Chicago

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one of its recently conducted studies revealed that about 5 percent of drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the last 30 days. The CDC conducted this study to truly illustrate the dangers of drowsy driving and the number of car accidents in Illinois and elsewhere.
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Other studies reveal even more alarming statistics. The National Sleep Foundation also conducted a similar study that determined that about a third of all drivers have fallen asleep while driving over the last year. Another 13 percent of drivers from that study reported falling asleep while driving at least once over the last 30 days.

Our Chicago car crash attorneys understand that these statistics are likely much, much higher. Not all drivers will willingly report to an officer that they were fatigued or drowsy during a traffic accident. For this reason, no true number can be recorded. There's no equivalent to a Breathalyzer to monitor someone's level of sleepiness.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 100,000 motor-vehicle accidents that happen every single year that are caused by fatigued drivers. These types of accidents kill approximately 1,550 people and injure 71,000 more. These accidents result in nearly $13 billion in losses every year.

Some studies even conclude that about a fourth of all traffic accidents involve a drowsy or fatigued driver, according to Automotive Industry Today.

Fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Both scenarios significantly reduce a driver's ability to respond to traffic challenges and road hazards. The Centre for Sleep Research, which is based out of Australia, concludes that a driver that has been awake for about 18 hours has the same reactions as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. A driver that has been awake for an entire day, or 24 hours, has the same abilities as a driver that has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10. In Illinois, a driver is legally drunk when they've hit a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08.

One of the most ineffective ways that a driver can try to "cure" their sleepiness is to just pull through it. Many drivers believe that they can just drink some caffeine, open the windows or turn up the music to wake them up. These are only temporary fixes and won't last long, putting you right back into serious risks for a car accident.

Tips to prevent fatigued driving accidents:

-Schedule driving breaks. A driver should stop every three hours. Use this time to get out of the car and stretch.

-Get enough regular sleep. Drivers who get an average of six or seven hours of sleep each night are as much as twice as likely to be involved in an accident as a driver who regularly gets eight hours of sleep. Drivers who average five hours of sleep are five times as likely to be involved in an accident.

-If you feel tired behind the wheel, pull over and rest or switch with a passenger. Never continue to drive if you feel sleepy at the wheel.

Continue reading "Fatigued Drivers Contributing to Risk of Car Accidents in Chicago" »

September 15, 2011

Fatal Distracted-Driving Car Accident in Chicago Could Result in Serious Criminal Charges

A 23-year-old driver could potentially face some serious criminal charges after failing to appear in court regarding a fatal distracted-driving car accident in Illinois. Radio 720 WGN reports that the accident happened when a woman was driving down Illinois Highway 53 as she was looking through her cell phone. Officials say that she crashed her vehicle into a pickup that was parked on the side of the highway. The 39-year-old owner of the pickup was outside of the vehicle changing his tire. After the accident, he was pinned and later died.
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The female driver has been cited for improperly using the lane, texting while driving and driving on the shoulder of the roadway. Prosecutors are saying that with continued research, they could potentially file more serious charges against the driver, especially now that the victim has died.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand just how dangerous distracted driving can be. As we recently discussed on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, approximately 5,400 people died in 2009 because of accidents in the U.S. that reported the involvement of a distracted driver. There are a number of distractions that a driver can engage in, including the use of a cell phone, sending text messages, reading maps, interacting with GPS devices, talking with other passengers and listening to music too loudly. All of these distractions are preventable as are accidents that are caused by distracted drivers.

The day after the Illinois accident, the young driver confessed to looking through her phone's contact list just before the accident happened. She also said that she put her phone down just before her vehicle hit the truck. She says she was forced to swerve to avoid the accident. Instead, she overcorrected her turn, hit a semi and then slammed into the man's pickup truck.

The family of man fatally injured in the accident has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the young driver. They seek more than $50,000 in damages. The family states that they're merely seeking justice for the death of their family member.

The hearing has been scheduled for the 13th of October. Unfortunately, the judge was unable to issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest because she has only been cited for mere traffic violations.

"I have absolutely nothing I can do at this time," said the judge to the family.

According to Illinois state law, no driver is allowed to use a cell phone while driving through a school zone or a work construction zone. Drivers under the age of 19 have been banned from using a cell phone while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. All drivers in Chicago are prohibited from using a cell phone. Drivers throughout the entire state are prohibited from text behind the wheel.

Drivers using a cell phone are four times more likely to be involved in a motor-vehicle accident. Cell phone use gives a driver the same reaction time as a driver who is legally drunk with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08.

Distracted driving-related accidents are 100 percent preventable with proper driver awareness. If you absolutely need to take a call or respond to a text message, you're urged to pull over and deal with your business then. No one's life is worth losing over a phone call.

Continue reading "Fatal Distracted-Driving Car Accident in Chicago Could Result in Serious Criminal Charges" »

September 13, 2011

Local Celebs Participate in Demonstration to Raise Awareness of Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois

We can now say goodbye to the summer season. Unfortunately the risks of drunk driving car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere will not diminish as we head into football season and the year-end holidays. With the holiday season approaching, more and more drivers head out to local hot spots to celebrate good times with friends and family, according to KTTC.

To help reduce the risks of these drunk driving accidents, Pete McMurray, the morning show host for Chicago's 97.9 The Loop and NBC Chicago's "24/7" television show, uses his time on the air to raise awareness in drivers of the effects of driving while intoxicated. He uses his shows to educate his listeners about the dangers and the consequences that motorists face when sharing the roadways with an irresponsible and intoxicated drivers.
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Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand that a large number of motorists are injured and killed by intoxicated drivers every year. To help combat this number, the Illinois State Police recently conducted a "Wet Lab Experiment." As we recently discussed on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, a wet lab experiment requires participants to consume an amount of alcohol that would place them at a legally drunk level (.08 blood alcohol concentration). They are then asked to complete a number of tasks that a normal drunk driver would if they were stopped by an officer, including a DUI arrest and Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). McMurray was also a part of the demonstration.

McMurray participated in a wet lab experiment live during The Pete McMurray Show on 97.9 The Loop. The experiment took place late last month.

"It is important for people to know what effect even a single drink can have on your abilities and judgment. Even at 6am when we're starting the show and certain third shift socialites are just hitting their favorite pub," said McMurray.

Jane Monzures, the host of "Living Healthy Chicago" of WGN, also joined McMurray for the drunk driving awareness demonstration.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 300 people that were killed because of traffic accidents that involved an intoxicated driver in 2009 in Illinois. Our state reports that about 50,000 people are arrested every single year for driving while intoxicated.

After the experiment, members from the Chicago, Police Department, The National Transportation Safety Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the media personalities and a number of other state officials participated in a press conference to discuss the findings of the wet lab.

It's no surprise that drinking and driving is a dangerous habit, yet far too many motorists continue to endanger innocent motorists on our roadways. With increased enforcement efforts and more conscious driving habits, we can all contribute our efforts to help make our roadways safer during the upcoming holiday season and year round.

Continue reading "Local Celebs Participate in Demonstration to Raise Awareness of Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois" »

September 12, 2011

Windy City Drivers Among the Nation's Worst -- Chicago Car Accidents Often Result

Chicago has some of the worst drivers in the nation, according to Allstate Insurance.

Chicago was ranked 157th (out of 200 cities) on the safe driver list. Our area may have moved up 10 spots since last year, but ranking in the bottom quarter is no reason to celebrate. We are experiencing way too many car accidents in Chicago and a bulk of the blame is being placed on negligent drivers.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that there are a host of issues that make for dangerous driving, including distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, drowsy driving and aggressive driving. According to the study, a Chicago driver is involved in an accident every 8 years. The number of serious car accidents in our area can be greatly reduced with more aware driving efforts by motorists statewide.
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The insurance company doesn't mean to alarm drivers with these statistics and these rankings. It releases these findings to encourage drivers to discuss and focus on safe driving habits. The company hopes that these rankings will encourage and inspire drivers to pay a little more attention behind the wheel.

“We don’t want drivers in Chicago to be discouraged by their ranking," said the Allstate Territory Sales Leader in Illinois, Judith Dodd. "Instead, we want the report to challenge drivers in Chicago to make positive changes to their driving habits that will in turn make the city a safer place to live, work and raise families.”

Allstate has been conducting this survey for the last 7 years. The study aims to figure out the likelihood drivers in America's biggest cities will be involved a traffic accident compared to the country average. Data from a two-year period is analyzed to ensure that outside causes, including weather and road construction do not alter the totals. For this report, a traffic accident is classified as an accident that resulted in a property damage claim. Allstate handles about 10 percent of all of the auto policies in the country. Its large representation makes this survey an accurate snapshot of driver's abilities in the country.

Allstate compiles traffic information regarding accident frequency to determine the rankings of the 200 cities. Only accidents in which significant automobile damage was sustained is included in the tallies, not mere fender benders, according to the Huff Post.

"Human behavior is the biggest cause of accidents. It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer," said Mike Roche, executive vice president, Allstate's Claim Organization.

A passenger vehicle is a motor vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were approximately 10,111,000 vehicles that were involved in police-reported traffic accidents in 2008 in the United States. About 94 percent of these vehicles were passenger vehicles. Nearly 80 percent of these fatalities occurred to occupants of passenger vehicles. Another 2.35 million people were injured because of these incidents.

The NHTSA reports that nearly 750 occupants of passenger vehicles died as a result of motor-vehicle accidents in Illinois in 2008.

We encourage all motorists to remain focused on the roadway, regardless of which state you may be driving in. Safe driving habits may be the most beneficial way to help reduce the risks of the being involved in a serious car accident.

Continue reading "Windy City Drivers Among the Nation's Worst -- Chicago Car Accidents Often Result" »