Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

October 25, 2011

Emanuel Proposes Cameras to Bust Speedy Drivers to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Chicago

Red-light cameras may be used for more than just catching drivers who drive through red lights. If Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way, the City of Chicago could use these cameras in the sky to bust speeding drivers in school zones, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Administrators believe that this kind of enforcement would help to keep children safe and would help prevent car accidents in Chicago. But critics of the technology say it's just another way for the cash-strapped city to reel in some dough.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that speeding contributes to far too many fatal accidents on our roadways. Speeding is especially dangerous when done through school zones and through residential zones with young pedestrians.

Officials claim that this strategy would help everyone to get the best of both worlds as City Hall, who is already on a tight budget, can earn extra cash while helping to keep pedestrians safe. Not everyone's buying it.

"The jury is still out on whether the red-light cameras are effective in terms of safety. ... So then it really becomes a revenue-raising tool, rather than a public safety tool, and I think there are more honest ways of raising money," said Ald. Joe Moore, 49th.

The transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, is backing Emanuel's request for the cameras. Currently, Chicago has a number of red-light cameras scattered throughout the city, but they're not able to catch speedy drivers --only those who run red lights.

To allow these cameras able to catch speeding drivers, all officials would have to do is install a strip on the roadway to calibrate a vehicle's speed as they travel through an intersection. These devices will be able to provide an accurate speed reading that is concrete enough to hold up in court.

Klein says that the idea of the cameras isn't to bust a lot of speeders, write a bunch of tickets and collect the fees and fines; it's about getting people to slow down in the areas that are dangerous.

The proposal was recently presented by Michael Madigan of Chicago, the Democratic House Speaker. He says that these cameras would only be used in areas where safety measures need to be heightened, including college and university campuses, park districts and other school zones.

Before these cameras could be installed and used, officials would be required to install cautionary signs to warn drivers about the monitoring of their speed.

Emanuel's administration is pushing this proposal hard. City officials are armed with a plethora of information to back up their request. Through countless accident reports, the administration concluded that pedestrian accidents in Chicago are most commonly cause by a motorists who fails to yield. A pedestrian's risks of death increases nearly 10 times when a car is traveling just 10 mph over a 20-mph speed limit.

Back in 2003, red-light cameras hit Chicago after Mayor Richard Daley approved the measure. In 2008, they generated about $45 million in ticket fines. In 2009, nearly 800,000 drivers in the city were ticketed by these cameras.

Ald. Edward Burke questions their deterrent effect however. With so many tickets he wondered, are these cameras really stopping anyone from flying through these intersections?

Klein hasn't put an exact number on how many cameras the administration would like to see used to catch speedy drivers. But he reiterated that the money collected from these lawbreakers would be used to help fund infrastructure and transportation safety projects.

No one's sure how Springfield will feel about the proposal. Back in 2010, Springfield lawmakers passed a weak reform package that made it easier for drivers to appeal red-light camera tickets after local government received several complaints about the eyes in the sky.

If this proposal gets signed into law, it would be effective on July 1st of 2012.

Continue reading "Emanuel Proposes Cameras to Bust Speedy Drivers to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Chicago" »

October 20, 2011

AAA Studies Teen Driver Risks to help Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation

A girl was seriously injured in a recent Illinois teen car accident, according to The Herald-News. A teen driver was in his pickup truck when he slammed into the female pedestrian who was walking along Bell and McEvilly Roads in Minooka where there are no sidewalks. The girl was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and then later to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

“The crash is being investigated and no charges have been filed at this time,” said Police Chief Justin Meyer.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand the dangers that teens face on our roadways and the dangers they present to other travelers. For this reason, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a new study to determine exactly what these dangers are and effective ways to reduce them. The new study determined that teen drivers are roughly 50 percent more likely to get into an accident in the first 30 days of driving than they were after having a year of unsupervised driving experience. And nearly twice as likely as they are after two years behind the wheel.

The recent study looked at teen drivers in North Carolina and noted the three most common driver errors among newly-licensed drivers:

-Failing to reduce speed.

-Driver inattention.

-Failing to yield.

In the first month of a teen's driving career, these three causes of accidents accounted for nearly 60 percent of traffic accidents in which teen drivers were at least partially responsible.

Researchers also studied various types of accidents in correlation with how long a driver had been licensed. The study concluded that the number of accidents that were experienced at fast-traveling speeds reduced as the driver gained more experience and time behind the wheel.

The study required the installation of in-car cameras to peek in on teen drivers as they were learning to drive with parents and guardians and then for six months without supervision. Researchers concluded that teens who obtained a learner's permit drove most of their time on routine trips on familiar roads in simple driving conditions. Once a driver could travel without supervision, that's when the mistakes started happening. The study concluded that these drivers experienced a number of close calls as a result of simple driving mistakes, which they attribute to driver inexperience.

In addition to the inexperience-related mistakes, teens oftentimes committed the following:

-Texting while driving.

-Horseplay and other interactions with passengers.

-Red-light running.

According to Kissinger, this study reiterates the fact that parents need to stay involved in their young driver's habits behind the wheel.

The AAA study continues to push the following suggestions to parents:

-Allow plenty of driving practice time. More experience behind the wheel may be your child's best protection against a traffic accident.

-Limit passengers. The risks for teen car accidents multiply when other teen passengers are present in the vehicle. Set limits with your teen driver and enforce them!

-Limit nighttime driving. In these driving conditions, a teen's risk for an accident increases because of the extreme reduction in visibility.

-Stick to your parent-teen driving contract! Make sure your contract covers driving rules for cities, highways, interstates, weather conditions, curfews and passenger limitations.

Continue reading "AAA Studies Teen Driver Risks to help Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation" »

October 18, 2011

NHTSA Funding Technologies to Prevent Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation

Our Chicago car accident attorneys have recently discussed the unfortunate number of impaired-driving accidents that our area sees every year. Many innocent motorists are killed because of the irresponsible decisions of others.

To help reduce the risks of these accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working with vehicle manufacturers to create features that can test your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you're able to turn on your car. The NHTSA has partnered up with The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) to help make this vision a reality, according to Market Watch.

This device would not only help to prevent drunk driving-related car accidents in Illinois, but it has the potential to save lives on roadways around the world. To help with production of this device, the NHTSA has awarded TruTouch Technologies and Takata with more than $2 million in funding.

As the end of the year draws near and the holiday season approaches, we can assume from the trends of recent statistics that we will see an increasing number of alcohol-related accidents. Technology like this would be able to prevent these accidents and fatalities.

"As a company solely dedicated to automotive safety, we are excited with the contract from DADSS/ACTS to develop the TruTouch sensors for use in automotive, commercial vehicle and heavy equipment applications," says Kirk Morris, Vice President of Business Development of TK Holdings Inc.

Morris goes on to say that he wants to see a product that is able to test driver's BAC level without doing so in an intrusive way.

The TruTouch technology is a system that is able to detect a person's level of intoxication by just using infrared light. To test your BAC, all you have to do is touch your finger near or on one of the system's sensors. It's them able to analyze the alcohol concentration in a person's body.

This system has been proven to provide an accurate reading within just a few seconds. The feature also has a biometric system built into it so that no one is able to tamper with it. The companies hope that this technology will be accepted by drivers worldwide so that we can all see safer roadways. The product requires no operator assistance and requires no training for users.

In-car technology continues to advance. Drunk driving accidents are 100 percent preventable and if it takes a vehicle-safety feature to help prevent them, then so be it. It's clear that impaired drivers aren't going to hand over their keys any time soon.

According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 11,000 people killed in drunk driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2009. These accidents accounted for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities during the year. During this time, Illinois witnessed nearly 400 alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Continue reading "NHTSA Funding Technologies to Prevent Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation" »

October 15, 2011

Disabled Cars Oftentimes lead to Car Accidents in Chicago

A recent car accident in Jasper County on Interstate 65 in Indiana surprised a Chicago resident as she sat on the side of the road with her disabled vehicle. The Chicago driver told officers that she pulled the car over because smoke started seeping out from underneath the hood. According to officers, the accident happened when a passing semi-truck struck the disabled vehicle and caught on fire.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that sometimes vehicle malfunctions happen and there's nothing we can do to completely prevent them. There is a way though that we can handle these situations to help keep everyone in the vehicle safe. There are certain safety tips that motorists should remember and exercise if they're ever stuck on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle.

The accident report stated that the Chicago driver and the 24-year-old passenger got out of the vehicle after they pulled it off to the side of the road. As the two were out examining the engine, a tractor-trailer merged over from the right-hand side of the roadway and hit the disabled car.

Since the two were standing in front of the car when the semi hit, they were injured. One motorist received a number of skull fractures and a gash on his head. The other motorist was thrown into a nearby ditch and suffered from a broken leg.

The driver of the semi told officers that he didn't see the disabled vehicle because there were no hazard lights activated.

The police report went on to state that the semi struck the vehicle, swerved to the left, flew into the median and struck the barrier cables. The fire started when the semi collided with the cables. The driver was able to escape the truck safely.

Both of the injured motorists were transported to Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point.

Follow these safety tips provided by Pep Boys if your car breaks down:

-Try to pull the car over as far away from traffic as possible. If there's an emergency lane, use it. If there's a grassy area near the lane, use that.

-If you're stopped because you've got a flat tire and there's no safe place to pull over, drive on the rim until you find a place. Ruining a rim is much less significant than losing a life.

-Make sure you always have warning devices with you, including triangles and flares. These should be placed a good distance from your car. The rule of thumb says that you should have three warning devices, placed at 25, 50 and 100 yards from your vehicle.

-Activate your hazard lights.

-Always travel with a cell phone.

-If your car is not stopped in a safe area, get out of the vehicle and move away from it. Otherwise remain inside with the doors locked and passengers buckled.

-If you have to walk to a phone, make sure all vehicle occupants walk together.

-Open the hood on your car.

-Tie a white cloth to your antenna.

-If someone asks you if you need help, remain in your car with the doors locked and ask them to call for help.

-Keep water, nonperishable food items and warm clothing in your car for scenarios like this one.

Continue reading "Disabled Cars Oftentimes lead to Car Accidents in Chicago" »

October 9, 2011

Fewer Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents Good News, But Awareness Key Heading into the Holiday Season

Since the beginning of the economic downturn, authorities are seeing fewer drunk driving accidents in Illinois and elsewhere, according to FOX News. A recently released federal study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), surveyed more than 450,000 people and reported the lowest recorded number of drunk driving incidents since 1993.

The survey reported that we've seen a 30 percent drop since 2006, which was the peak period of these incidents.

According to the CDC there were 112 million drunk driving episodes last year. Many experts believe that the economy was a large contributor to this dip. Still 112 million drunk drivers on our roads is a far cry from clear sailing.

Our Chicago drunk driving accident attorneys understand that we could potentially see a whole lot more drunk driving accidents in the state with the holiday season approaching. Many residents and visitors head out over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's to visit friends and family members. Unfortunately, a lot of these gatherings involve alcohol. And a lot of these events can turn deadly when it's time to call it a night and many of these impaired individuals get into their vehicles to drive home.

One important finding in the survey is that there was not a significant drop in the amount of alcohol that Americans were drinking. According to the survey's results, nearly 2 percent of the country's population reported to have driven at least once while intoxicated in the last 30 days.

“The four million adults who drink and drive each year put everyone on the road at risk,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, CDC director.

Other findings in the CDC's survey:

-Men accounted for more than 80 percent of the country's drinking and driving accidents.

-Men ages 21- to 34-years-old accounted for more than 30 percent of all drinking and driving accidents even though in 2010 these individuals made up approximately 10 percent of the country's population.

-Binge drinkers are much more likely to drive after drinking.

-In the U.S., residents of the Midwest region were the most likely to drink and drive as they reported the most confessions.

According to the CDC, there were nearly 11,000 people who were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2009. These incidents accounted for roughly a third of all roadway fatalities during that year.

During the holiday season, we can expect to see more DUI checkpoints and more patrolling officers on our roadways to help combat the problem. We're asking all residents to celebrate responsibly throughout the rest of the year.

If you think you've spotted a drunk driver on our roadways, the Illinois State Police ask that you give the nearest State Police Headquarters a call. Make sure you have the location of the vehicle and the direction it's traveling, a description of the driver if possible and the make, model and color of the vehicle. Officers would appreciate the license plate number, but ask that you stay away from the vehicle to avoid an accident.

Continue reading "Fewer Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents Good News, But Awareness Key Heading into the Holiday Season" »

October 4, 2011

Heads Up Driving Week Aims to Help Prevent Distracted Driving-Related Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation

For the third year in a row the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is asking that all drivers put down the distractions during the "Heads Up Driving Week" campaign.

This year's event is taking place from October 2nd to the 8th. During this time, and throughout the rest of the year, drivers should place their full attention on the roadway to help prevent distracted-driving car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere.

AAA asks that you give it a whirl for just a week to see if your driving abilities improve. While you're at it, ask your friends and family members to try it too!

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that there are about 8,000 accidents that occur every day because of distracted drivers. All of these traffic crashes are preventable with a little more attention. Distracted driving doesn't only include the use of a cell phone. It can also mean eating, applying makeup, listening to music too loudly and interacting with passengers while driving. Numerous studies have been conducted on this dangerous driving behavior and the conclusions have all been the same -- distractions increase you risks for a fatal accident.

Distracted driving facts:

-More than a million people have been killed because of car accidents in U.S. in the last 25 years. Nearly 34,000 of these lives were lost in 2010.

-Studies reveal that drivers spend more than half of their driving time engaging in a distracting behavior.

-You are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident when engaging in distractions.

-Distractions can also include rubbernecking, eating, smoking and playing with the radio and they are just as dangerous as playing with a hand-held communication device.

-The number one reported distraction has been other passengers. Children are four times as distracting as adults and infants are at least 8 times as distracting.

According to a recent survey, more than 90 percent of drivers think that emailing and texting behind the wheel is unacceptable. Nearly 90 percent say that they support law prohibiting reading, typing or sending text messages while driving. Even with these viewpoints though, roughly a third of surveyed drivers reported that they had engaged in the dangerous driving behavior at least once in the last month.

It's no secret that each of us have a lot on our plate and a lot to get done before the end of the day. But we need to keep a car accident off that list. Drivers should focus all of their attention on the roadway when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. These types of accidents are completely preventable and only take a little discipline and a little responsibility to avoid. Please participate in the week-long campaign and urge your loved ones to get involved as well. Paying more attention behind the wheel can help to save lives on our roadways. Get involved!

Continue reading "Heads Up Driving Week Aims to Help Prevent Distracted Driving-Related Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation" »

October 2, 2011

GDL Program Risks for Car Accidents in Illinois for Graduated Drivers?

“You want a mix of country driving and urban driving, with different kinds of roads, with different kinds of weather," said Diana Horton of the Tri-County Driving School based in Kane County.

She's talking about young drivers and their experience through the Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) program in Illinois. This program is used to help educate teens to drive though a number of stages. The program aims to reduce the risks of teen car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere.

Our Chicago teen car accident attorneys understand that teens who participate in a GDL program typically experience a 26 percent decrease in the number of teen driving accidents. Unfortunately, CNN reports that older teen drivers are not seeing the same decrease -- another reason why parents should remain involved in their teen's driving through high school and even college.

The GDL program in Illinois, according to Cyber Drive Illinois:

15-year-old drivers, Permit Phase:
-Must be enrolled in a driver education course that has been approved by the DOT.
-May not drive from Sunday through Thursday between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
-May not drive on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
-Must pass a written and a vision exam.
-Must hold this permit for at least nine months.
-Must complete at least 50 hours of practice driving time with a licensed supervising adult.
-Can only have one front seat passenger and the number of seat belts in the back seat.
-All vehicle occupants under 19 must wear a seat belt.
-Drivers may not use a cell phone.

16- and 17-years-old, Initial Licensing Phase:
-A parent must certify that the driver has completed 50 hours of supervised driving.
-A parent must be present to obtain this license from the DMV.
-Must have completed the driver education course.
-May not drive from Sunday through Thursday between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
-May not drive on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
-Cannot have a traffic conviction with six months before applying for next license.
-All vehicle occupants under 19 must wear a seat belt.
-Can only have one passenger under the age of 20 at a time.
-Cannot use a cell phone while driving.

18- through 20-years-old, Full Licensing Phase:

-No previous restrictions pertain to this driving phase.
-Cell phone use by drivers under the age of 19 is prohibited.

Researchers are finding that it is when drivers complete the restricted phases of this system that they face an increased risk for a serious car accident. Many believe it's because they're finally handed total freedom behind the wheel and are oftentimes overwhelmed.

"The expectation was that older [teen] drivers wouldn't be affected much one way or the other, so this is a new thing to think about," says Anne McCartt, Ph.D., vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

According to The Beacon-News, there were nearly 150 teenagers killed in Illinois as a result of a traffic accident in 2007. Secretary of State Jesse White says that the number of teens that died in 2009 was half that, at less than 75. He continues to stick by his GDL program, saying that the recent increase in the restrictions within the GDL program has helped to drop this number.

Safe driving advocates continue to worry about our young drivers after they graduate from this program. Regardless, parents and guardians need to stay involved in their young driver's time behind the wheel. Keep safe driving as a frequent topic of conversation within your household.

Continue reading "GDL Program Risks for Car Accidents in Illinois for Graduated Drivers?" »

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, 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.
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.

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" »