Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

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" »

September 8, 2011

IDOT Worker Involved in Illinois Work Zone Car Accident Pronounced Dead

An Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) construction worker was recently hit and killed in a work zone by a Grand Marquis driven by a 67-year-old man, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Illinois car accident happened around 8:30 a.m. as the driver took a left-hand turn from Route 47 onto the westbound lanes of Route 14 in Woodstock.

The IDOT worker was transported to Woodstock Centegra Hospital by paramedics from the Woodstock Fire Rescue District. He was later pronounced dead. Charges against the motorists are currently pending. The city is awaiting the results of a drug and alcohol test.
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Our attorneys recently reported, on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, that a number of state organizations and law enforcement agencies unveiled a National Work Zone Memorial Wall. The Memorial was available for viewing at the Illinois State Fair. The Illinois State Police, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the Associated General Contractors revealed the memorial to help recognize the employees that have been killed in our state's work zone. The wall also aims to raise awareness about the importance of safe and cautious driving habits within construction areas.

"This unfortunately is a tragic reminder of the dangers of driving through work zones. We'd like to take this time to urge motorists when they're driving through and even approaching work zones to be especially aware and alert because lives truly are at stake," said IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell.

According to IDOT, there were approximately 1,000 traffic accident fatalities in both 2009 and 2010 in our state. While this number may still seem alarmingly high, this is the lowest-recorded two years since 1921.

IDOT has been focusing much of its efforts on keeping our roadside workers safe. There have been a number of safe-driving campaigns, including "See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives," to help raise awareness about the dangers that construction workers face in our work zones. The IDOT has also focused on making changes to help keep a safe flow of traffic through these areas. Improvements include automated work zone speed limit enforcement, safety engineering, signing enforcements and infrastructure improvements.

“The National Work Zone Safety Memorial symbolizes the collective efforts and commitment of all states for the ongoing challenge to prevent work zone crashes,” said Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.

More efforts are needed however to combat the number of fatal traffic accidents that we're seeing in Illinois. As of August 23rd, more than 560 people have died because of car accidents in Illinois.

Many accidents in construction zones occur because drivers are not paying attention. As the speeds and traffic patterns change frequently in these areas, it's important to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. It is especially important to curb all distractions when traveling through a work zone. Distracted driving is one of the top causes for car accident-related accidents in the construction industry. We would like to take this time to remind you that Illinois state law prohibits drivers from using a hand-held phone while driving through a construction zone.

Continue reading "IDOT Worker Involved in Illinois Work Zone Car Accident Pronounced Dead" »

September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend sees a series of dangerous Chicago-area car crashes

As often the case, holiday weekends in the Chicago area can result in serious auto accidents, and this weekend was no exception.

In one Illinois motor vehicle crash, a motorist has been charged with DUI after driving his SUV off the roadway and hitting a tree on the Eisenhower Expressway on Labor Day morning around 5:20 AM. The incident occurred around Kostner Avenue and both he and his passenger were seriously injured, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Both the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Fire Department responded to the scene of the accident. Both the driver and passenger had to be removed from the vehicle by rescue personnel. Both were taken to area hospitals serious condition, but luckily their injuries were reportedly not life-threatening.

Several lanes of the interstate were closed for a few hours for the investigation. Police have not released the name of the alleged intoxicated driver, nor has it been reported what facts lead investigating officers to believe the driver was DUI.

In another Chicago area single car crash, a 16-year-old teenager was killed in a 17-year-old was seriously injured, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Both were from North Chicago, Illinois. Police believe the vehicle the 16-year-old was driving was traveling at a high speed when it drove off the road and hit a tree in the area of 942 Fulton Ave., Waukegan early Wednesday morning.

Government officials stated the impact cut the vehicle in half. The rear half of the car ended up against the front of a house and the front half was upside down in a nearby yard.

The driver was partially ejected from the car. An autopsy revealed he sustained multiple internal injuries from deceleration in a high-speed collision.

The passenger was taken by ambulance to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Illinois with non-life-threatening injuries.

The collision is being investigated by the Waukegan Police Department's major traffic accident unit. Police say there were no witnesses and the incident is still being investigated. Police received a call about the crash around 2:45 AM.

In yet another deadly incident, a toddler was killed in an Illinois pedestrian accident, according to ABC news. The driver involved, 45-year-old woman, has been charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The collision occurred on Saturday on the South Side of Chicago in the West Pullman neighborhood. The victim, 23 months old, was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oaklawn where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

The child and her grandmother were reportedly within a crosswalk when they were hit by a van.

It has not been reported if a Chicago injury lawyer is involved in any of the above cases yet or if a civil lawsuit has been filed.

Continue reading "Labor Day weekend sees a series of dangerous Chicago-area car crashes" »

September 2, 2011

Officers Crackdown on Intoxicated Drivers to Prevent Fatal Car Accidents over the Labor Day Weekend

Many residents use the Labor Day holiday weekend to celebrate one last time before saying goodbye to summer. This is also a time when we see an increased number of drunk driving accidents in Illinois. To help combat the problem and to keep motorists safe, the Illinois Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the hunt for intoxicated drivers. To help get the word out about the dangers and the potential consequences of drunk driving, law enforcement conducted a "wet lab" demonstration. The demonstration is all a part of the state's “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign for the upcoming holiday. Officers will be on the lookout for all impaired drivers from now through the first week of September.

“The demonstration today illustrates how devastating alcohol impairment is on a person’s judgment, control and ability to operate a vehicle,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.
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Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that most residents will be using the long Labor Day weekend to get out of the house and to have some fun with friends and family. Unfortunately, what's not factored into weekend plans are the dangers motorists who are expected to be on our roadways. To help reduce these dangers, police across the state will be enforcing traffic laws and busting motorists who fail to consider the safety of others.

Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Hiram Grau says that he just wants everyone to make it to where they're heading safely this weekend. He warns motorists that there will be a number of areas that will be targeting speeders, distracted drivers, motorists not wearing a seat belt and those who are driving drunk. Officers are targeting these four violations because ISP says that they are the four riskiest driving behaviors. If you're busted for violating any of these laws, you could face a number of fines and potentially wind up in jail.

During a wet lab demonstration, a person is asked to consume an amount of alcohol that would make them legal drunk. Those watching the demonstration can get a feel for exactly how alcohol affects a person's ability to drive and their judgment. They get to see how the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) work and how an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) goes down.

They also get to see what an ignition-interlock device is and how it works. Illinois was one of the first states in the country to require that first-time DUI offenders install an interlock device on their vehicle. These systems require that a driver pass a breath-alcohol test before the vehicle can be turned on. The device also requests random tests throughout a drive to ensure that it's the driver who is interacting with the system.

In the two and a half years since the state started installing these in the vehicles of first time offenders, the number of participants has jumped from just 3,000 to approximately 12,000 annually.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys would like to ask everyone to be safe over the holiday weekend and to avoid drinking and driving at all costs. If you spot a driver that you believe to be intoxicated, you're urged to contact local authorities. Your phone call can help to save someone's life.

Continue reading "Officers Crackdown on Intoxicated Drivers to Prevent Fatal Car Accidents over the Labor Day Weekend" »