Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

December 5, 2009

At least 6 killed in Thanksgiving Holiday Chicago car accidents

At least six people were killed in Thanksgiving Holiday traffic crashes in the Chicago area, according to a preliminary tally by The Sun-Times.

-A man was killed in a Chicago pedestrian accident at about 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day in the 6900 block of Cicero Avenue after a vehicle traveling northbound struck another vehicle and continued on before hitting the 21-year-old Oak Lawn man. As we noted in a separate post at Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, the driver faces felony drunk driving charges. The pedestrian had reportedly run out of gas and climbed from his vehicle before being struck by the accused driver.

-Also on Thursday, a motorist struck a wall on I-290; a vehicle was involved in a Chicago bicycle accident in the 5600 block of West Lawrence Avenue; and a man crashed into a house with his pickup truck in the 9300 block of South Chicago Avenue. He was pinned into the vehicle and hospitalized in critical condition.

-Early Black Friday morning, a woman has hit by a car in an outlet mall in suburban Aurora.

-Friday night, a South Side one-vehicle accident sent eight people to the hospital, including six children.

-A Chicago car accident occurred early Saturday morning when a 63-year-old Joliet driver northbound on I-55 near Plainfield attempted to pass a semi and went airborne off the road. The driver was ejected from the vehicle.

-An 18-year-old Des Plaines driver was pronounced dead early Saturday after a Northeast River Road crash in which the vehicle left the road and struck a pole.

-A Chicago motorcycle accident on Saturday afternoon claimed the life of a 29-year-old Aurora man when his motorcycle struck an SUV that reportedly failed to yield while exiting a temple, as reported earlier on Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog.

-Saturday night a 2004 Nissan southbound on I-57 crashed shortly before midnight after the driver abruptly changed lanes and apparently lost control, according to the Illinois State Police. The 19-year-old driver was partially ejected and pronounced dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey at 12:07 a.m. Sunday.

-And just after midnight Sunday a rural Kendall County driver was killed when his pickup truck went off the road and caught fire after striking a tree.

The rest of the year-end holiday period is expected to remain a dangerous time for Chicago Car Accidents.

The state has launched Operation Save 100 in an effort to reduce Illinois traffic fatalities by 100 lives this year. Currently, Illinois is one of only 10 states to average more than 1,000 road deaths annually.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's is one of the deadliest times on the nation's roads -- 27 people were killed and 2,377 seriously injured in Illinois car accidents last year over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Nationwide the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported last year's Thanksgiving Holiday saw an increase in fatalities: 158 were killed, compared to 139 in 2007.

Statistics show drunk driving accidents and car accidents involving teenagers are responsible for a significant number of holiday traffic crashes.

December 3, 2009

Six children, two adults critically injured in holiday Chicago car accident

Six children and two adults were critically injured in a Chicago car accident over the Thanksgiving Holiday after their car struck a tree, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The accident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Friday in the 900 block of West Garfield Boulevard after the driver swerved off the road for unknown reasons and struck a tree, according to authorities.

All eight occupants of the 1996 Buick Regal were listed in serious-to-critical condition following the Chicago car crash.

Those taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County include; a 50-year-old woman, a 55-year-old man and two girls, ages 3 and 5, according to police. A 5-year-old boy was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. Three boys, ages 9, 3 and 6-months, were taken to Comer Children's Hospital.

No citations were issued and the investigation continues, the Sun-Times reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. A study in 2005 found that 1,335 children under the age of 14 were killed in car accidents and 184,000 were injured, or an average of 4 deaths and 504 injuries per day.

December 1, 2009

Chicago Thanksgiving drunk driving accident claims life of pedestrian

A 31-year-old Soutwest Side man faces charges stemming from a Thanksgiving Chicago drunk driving car accident that claimed the life of a pedestrian, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The 21-year-old Chicago pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car about 3:10 a.m. Thursday in the 6900 block of South Cicero Avenue.

The at-fault driver was reportedly northbound when he swerved into the southbound lanes and struck a car before continuing north and striking the victim, who was standing outside his vehicle. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn on Thursday morning.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported the victim had run out of gas and had climbed out to push when the accused driver's Chevy Equinox allegedly rear-ended an Oldsmobile and kept going before striking the victim.

The driver had a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit, according to the Tribune, and was held on $300,000 bail on Saturday. He faces several charges, including felony aggravated driving under the influence.

Last year in Illinois, nine people were killed and 961 injured in serious traffic accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

As reported last week on our Chicago Injury Lawyer blog, about 40 percent of holiday fatalities nationwide involve a drunk driver compared to 28 percent during the rest of the holiday season, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

November 28, 2009

Women, teenagers, most likely to be injured in Chicago car accidents

Women and teenagers were most likely to be seriously injured in Illinois car accidents, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation's 2008 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics report.

The Chicago injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes are published a series of blogs taking a look at the comprehensive traffic data here and on our sister site, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog. The latest data shows teenagers and women are at increased risk of injury as a result of a traffic accident.

Last year, an average of 1,115 Illinois traffic crashes claimed three lives a day and injured 11 people an hour.

Almost 20 percent of injury crashes injured 16,119 occupants ages 25 to 34, followed by drivers 35 to 44 (13,532 injuries) and 45 to 54 (12,491 injuries).

However, teenagers were at 5 times greater risk of an injury accident after being old enough to drive. Just 2,068 injuries were reported among kids ages 10 to 14 compared to 10,869 injuries in teenagers ages 15 to 19.

Women in every age group were more likely to be injured. Last year in accidents where age was reported, 45,260 women were injured in Illinois car accidents compared to 39,885 men.

Age 15 to 19
Men: 4,845
Women: 6,024

Age 20 to 24
Men: 5,120
Women: 5,811

Age 25 to 34
Men: 7,779
Women: 8,340

Age 35 to 44:
Men: 6,477
Women: 7,055

Age 45 to 54

Men: 5,963
Women: 6,528

Age 55 to 64
Men: 3,677
Women: 4,282

Age 65 to 74
Men: 1,722
Women: 2,045

75 and up
Men: 1,324
Women: 1,729

The holiday driving season is always a good time to brush up on safety. Here are 70 Defensive Driving Rules to live by, as published by Road Trip America. The State of Illinois also publishes a Parent-Teen Driving Guide for discussing safe driving habits with your teenager.

Continue reading "Women, teenagers, most likely to be injured in Chicago car accidents" »

November 26, 2009

Chicago drunk driving accidents a hazard to all motorists on Thanksgiving weekend

Chicago drunk driving accidents and drunk drivers nationwide pose a serious threat over the Thanksgiving Weekend. Nationally, Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates we will share the roads with 2 million drunk drivers who have at least three convictions for drunk driving.

In 2007, nearly 1,500 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Last year in Illinois, nine people were killed and 961 injured in serious traffic accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Abels & Annes
reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog last week that Illinois authorities are hoping to reduce road fatalities by 100 deaths this year and are increasing traffic enforcement through the holidays period.

Through mid-November, 781 people died in Illinois traffic accidents compared to 883 during the same period last year. One-third involved a drunk driver, according to state statistics.

Last week, MADD announced progress in the third year of its campaign to eliminate drunk driving. The nationwide campign "Over the Limit, Under Arrest," will kick off December 14;and MADD reported a total of 12 states now require ignition interlocks to prevent convicted drunk drivers of driving while intoxicated.

MADD has these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety this Thanksgiving:
-Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
-Never serve alcohol to those under 21.
- Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering.
-Be prepared to get everyone home safe.

Click here for MADD's Safe Party Guide

Continue reading "Chicago drunk driving accidents a hazard to all motorists on Thanksgiving weekend" »

November 24, 2009

Eight injured in seven-car Chicago car accident on the Dan Ryan

Thirteen ambulances were dispatched to a five-vehicle Chicago car accident over the weekend on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

The chain-reaction crash occurred in the northbound express lanes of the Dan Ryan shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday in the South Side’s Bridgeport neighborhood, according to the Sun-Times.

The Chicago Tribune reported at least seven vehicles were involved and eight people were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

The crash happened where the express lanes meet the local lanes near the Chinatown feeder ramp, Illinois State Police reported.

Four vehicles were towed from the scene and several people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. Reports indicate one child was taken in good condition to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

Two people were reported to be in critical condition -- one at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and another at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.

Four others were reportedly in good condition at area hospitals.

A gray compact car and a sport-utility vehicle were among the vehicles involved and were towed from the scene, according to the Chicago Breaking News Center.

The northbound expressway was closed for about an hour. No citations were issued as state police continue to investigate.

November 22, 2009

Unlicensed drivers face vehicle impoundment under new law aimed at reducing Chicago car accidents

City council approved a new ordinance last week that will impound the cars of drivers caught behind the wheel with a suspended or revoked license.

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have written about several high profile accidents involving unlicensed drivers in recent months, both at Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog and at our sister site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog.

The measure has gained momentum since a pregnant mother of 5 was struck and killed in a Chicago pedestrian accident caused by an unlicensed driver. The Tribune reported the at-fault driver had been cited more than 12 times for driving without a license.

"We have people whose licenses are suspended or revoked, and they continue to drive on the streets, putting the public at risk," sponsoring Ald. Tom Allen, 38th, told the Chicago Tribune.

The new law would require drivers to pay $665 to the city to get their vehicles back. The Tribune reported police issued 22,904 citations last year for driving on a suspended license. About one-third of Chicago traffic accidents resulting in serious injury or death involve someone driving with a revoked or suspended license, police estimate.

The new ordinance takes effect Jan. 1.

"You're not going to eradicate the 22,000-plus cases of people getting pulled over for this," Allen said. "But if they have to pay this $665 every time, it's going to give them pause."

Continue reading "Unlicensed drivers face vehicle impoundment under new law aimed at reducing Chicago car accidents" »

November 20, 2009

Winter weather a deadly cause of Chicago car accidents

"Ice and snow ... take it slow"

That is the message from the Illinois Department of Transportation as we brace for winter driving.

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes encourage everyone to prepare for winter driving; a properly serviced vehicle, good tires, ice scrapers, jumper cables and an emergency kit that includes blankets, gloves and reflectors or flares to mark a disabled vehicle's location are all a good idea.

And sometimes the most obvious answers are the most often overlooked: In the event your vehicle is disabled at the side of the road, nothing beats a fully charged cell phone!

Last year, 1,043 people were killed in Illinois traffic accidents. The vast majority of fatal crashes occurred in the seven-county area around Chicago, including the 125 traffic deaths that occurred inside the city limits.

Drunk driving is by far the biggest threat, claiming 425 lives, or more than 1 in every 3 fatalities.
But IDOT statistics show more than 1 in 4 serious accidents occurred on wet, icy or snowy roads. Of the 950 fatalities and 67,739 serious injuries that occurred in accidents where road conditions were noted, 140 deaths and 11,434 injuries occurred on wet roads and 82 deaths and 7,583 occurred on icy or snowy roads.

Additionally, the last three months of the year, which includes the holiday driving season, claimed the most lives: 92 in October, 92 in November and 106 in December.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an accident, call the Chicago car accident lawyers and the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free appointment to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless you win.

For more information on winterizing your vehicle, preparing a survival kit, planning a winter driving trip, driving in winter weather or staying safe while stranded, visit IDOT's winter-driving page.

November 18, 2009

More than 1,000 Illinois car accidents a day injured 11 people an hour in 2008

Illinois' 2008 traffic fatality clock logged 1,115 Illinois traffic crashes per day. Eleven people an hour were injured and 3 people a day died in fatal Illinois traffic accidents, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation's 2008 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics report.

This is the second blog looking at the newly published information. The Chicago injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes published the first blog in the series on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog last week.

The study reported 10.1 million vehicles registered to 8.7 million licensed drivers traveled over 100 billion miles in 2008. There were 408,258 traffic accidents reported in Illinois during 2008, which caused 94,021 injuries and claimed 1,043 lives.

The Illinois State Police announced last week a campaign to reduce the number of Illinois traffic fatalities by at least 100 through the end of the year, dropping the state total below 1,000. Currently, Illinois is one of 10 states that reported more than 1,000 road deaths last year.

Breakdown of Illinois vehicles:
77 percent passenger cars
17 percent trucks, buses and recreational vehicles
4 percent motorcycles

The highest numbers of fatalities were among passenger cars (850) and pickup trucks (200). However, a high number of fatalities were reported as a result of Illinois trucking accidents (113) and Illinois motorcycle accidents (131).

The state has a good chance of dipping below the 1,000 mark -- 781 fatalities had been reported as of Nov. 10, compared to 883 in the prior year. But November and December are traditionally two of the deadliest months on the road, with holiday travel, Illinois drunk driving crashes and winter weather combining to increase road hazards.

Continue reading "More than 1,000 Illinois car accidents a day injured 11 people an hour in 2008" »

November 16, 2009

Motorist killed after being broadsided in weekend South Side Chicago car accident

A motorist was killed Saturday afternoon in a Chicago car accident after his vehicle was broadsided by another car in a South Side traffic accident, according to the Chicago Breaking News Center.

The victim was driving an Oldsmobile Alero when he was broadsided by a Chevy Malibu near State and 75th streets shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

The driver of the Malibu was treated at Provident Hospital of Cook County and reported to be in good condition.

The Chicago car accident occurred as the Alero was northbound on State Street and was hit on the driver's side by the Malibu, which was eastbound on 75th Street. The collission forced the two cars into two other vehicles that were waiting for the red light in the westbound lane of 75th Street.

A passenger in one of the other vehicles, as well as both drivers, refused treatment. Cause of the crash is under investigation by the Major Accident Investigation Unit.

The Chicago car accident lawyers blog reported last week that traffic fatalities in Illinois were down last year. Still, 1,043 people were killed and more than 94,000 people were injured in Chicago car accidents, according to a State of Illinois' report.

One in every four Illinois traffic fatalities occurs at an intersection, according to the report.

Nationwide, 37,261 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.