Articles Posted in Car Accident

1019153.jpgEverything around us is getting smarter, more interactive, and more intuitive as each year passes thanks to advancements in technology that improve our American lifestyles. These advancements cross nearly every boundary in society and stretch from the classroom to the professional world, from breakfast to bedtime. Few pieces of our lives are technology-free at this point and many who live in Chicago like it that way.

One spot where technological advancements have made huge strides in recent years is in automobile design and manufacture. Today, cars are more efficient than ever before and can even perform some tasks on their own. Yet despite advances in cars, trucks, and buses, collisions keep happening and keep causing injuries to those involved. Nationally, the biggest culprit for car accidents continues to be rear-end collisions and unfortunately, those who drive in Chicago are at a significant risk for being involved in that type of crash.
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92916When it comes to driving in Chicago, most motorists tend to believe that their skills are better than average and that they are not part of the problems facing others on the roadways. However, statistically, all drivers in Illinois and elsewhere in the nation make mistakes or poor decisions on occasion, increasing the odds that they will cause a car accident or other traffic incident that may lead to injuries.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that anger, aggression, or road rage among drivers is so pervasive that 80 percent of all drivers admitted to having one or more of these attributes while driving within the prior 12 months.

The findings come from a survey that asked drivers about their general and specific habits while operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway. Importantly, many drivers tend to report their own conduct in a light favorable to their actions so these numbers may be lower than the actual experience. Further, as so many drivers find themselves with feelings of frustration, it is a warning sign to the few among us who keep their cool at all times that the motorist next to them may not be doing the same and may engage in aggressive or even damaging conduct as a result.

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12715(3)So often, Chicago drivers tell themselves “it won’t happen to me” when they think about a car accident occurring. Most motorists believe that they are better than average when it comes to their skills behind the wheel and that their experience and technique alone will be enough to keep them safe. Unfortunately, accidents happen each and every day in our city and a large number of them cause victims to be injured annually, forcing those victims to take time off from work while they recover and incur medical expenses due to the crash.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) tracks and records traffic-related incidents annually. For 2014, IDOT noted that 296,049 crashes involving a motor vehicle happened within the state’s borders, a number that should both shock and alarm citizens regardless of where they live. These crashes included single car accidents, accidents between two or more vehicles, collisions involving trucks, buses, and vans, motorcycle crashes, and those where a pedestrian was hurt. Put simply, the number and breadth of collisions occurring on Illinois roads is so vast and broad that all citizens should take note as their safety could be threatened if they become the victim of an accident.

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IMG_1250When it comes to driving in the Chicago area, not all roads are created equal. Some are well-maintained, well-designed, and function as intended to, allowing traffic to progress with few problems. Others seem to have been in need of repaving or updating for decades, leaving motorists to question why they have been so neglected by local officials and what will have to happen before changes are made.

The level of traffic on a specific roadway contributes quite a bit to that road’s overall safety and functionality. The more vehicles that use an area, the more likely that congestion will result, particularly if a car accident or crash happens and forces a backup beyond the affected vehicles.

With more than 300,000 vehicles using the Dan Ryan Expressway on a typical weekday, it has been dubbed the busiest road in the entire state, along with the Kennedy Expressway on the city’s north side. The Dan Ryan is known to locals for its high speeds and stiff congestion and is so infamous that many plan their entire transit times around anticipated rush hour traffic. If you fail to plan before getting on the Dan Ryan, odds are that you will find yourself in stop-and-go conditions.

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9716If you plan to drive in Illinois, you are required to take several steps. You must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle, must do so within the laws of the state, and must carry insurance on your car, to name a few of the requirements. But until recently, those who took a driver’s education class in the state did not have to receive an education on what to do if they were stopped by police. While many classes taught drivers how to operate on a public roadway, when to use a turn signal, and how to proceed on an expressway, only some were discussing what a driver should do if he or she were stopped by local law enforcement officers.

Now, a new law passed at the state level is changing that. A bill signed into law last month will require all driver’s education classes to cover a portion of their teaching curriculum on what procedures to follow if the driver is involved in a lawful traffic stop. The purpose of this new law is to help educate this newest group of drivers so that they are prepared for all aspects of driving, including some of the ones they may prefer to avoid.

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8816(2)You just finished your Sunday morning shopping, the parking lot is jam-packed, and after navigating the store that was as equally crowded you are more than ready to get home and finally relax. You carefully back out of your parking space, noticing at the very last second that someone with a grocery cart has suddenly appeared right behind your car. Luckily, you hit the brakes in time and no one is hurt. You are finally on your way out of the parking lot madness when THUD…someone backing out of their space rammed right into the side of your car. The passenger door is seriously dented, your mirror is gone, but you and the other driver are okay.

This scenario plays out in parking lots across Chicago every day and in most cases the damage is minimal and injuries are rare.

In parking lot accidents, the traffic lane (with vehicles that are not parked and driving through the aisles) has the right of the way. Thus if a person was backing out of a parking space when a collision occurred, the driver backing out will most likely be held liable.

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29216Every year, the number of traffic accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities are closely monitored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA describes its mission as to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes. This is an incredibly important task as car accidents continue to be a leading cause of death among Americans of all ages, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of lives annually and causing pain and suffering to hundreds of thousands.

As part of its mission, NHTSA monitors numerous factors that go into and stem from traffic crashes each year and a review of their preliminary data from 2015 shows an increase in the total number of fatalities by 7.7 percent over 2014 numbers.

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42916These days, it may seem like a new automobile recall is being announced every week, and with good reason: over the last few years, more recalls have been issued than at any time in the past. Many motorists have found that the cars they own have been recalled multiple times for unrelated issues that range from the minor to the severe, leaving them wondering just how safe any car on the road may be.

Now, in two new recalls, Ford has announced that approximately 283,000 vehicles will need to be serviced to be safe.

The first recall affects roughly 81,000 Ford Explorer SUVs and Police Interceptor models in North America manufactured between 2014 and 2015. These vehicles have a problem with the rear suspension that could lead to fracturing resulting from poor welds. The other recall focuses on 202,000 cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs with a faulty transmission. These vehicles include 2011 Ford F-150 pickup trucks, 2012 Ford F-150 pickup trucks, 2012 Ford Expeditions, 2012 Ford Mustangs, and 2012 Lincoln Navigators. Officials state that a flaw in the transmission can cause the unit to downshift unintentionally, potentially leading to car accidents or other collisions.

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3716(3)There are thousands of components that comprise a modern automobile and they range from the very small to the very large. Some of these parts serve a critical purpose, like a steering wheel, while others function more as a luxury, like a radio. With so many parts to a car, it is impossible to keep a close eye on every single aspect of a vehicle at every moment you drive.

However, some features deserve your attention both before you are in the car and while you are moving, and one of the big parts of a car that should be monitored but is often overlooked is a vehicle’s tires. Tires serve to support a vehicle’s load while also transmitting traction and braking capabilities from the car to the roadway, allowing a driver to control acceleration, deceleration, and direction. Tires also absorb road shocks and can be a determining factor in whether or not a car accident happens in Chicago.

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22516(2)After a relatively mild winter, Chicago experienced a late snow storm yesterday and into this morning which brought with it icy and snowy conditions, ensnarling the normal commutes that Chicago is known for. In fact, some of the southern suburbs and into northwest Indiana still had blizzard warnings this morning which have mostly expired. The total snowfall experienced varies dramatically depending on where you live but the outcome was the same – poor conditions led to a more difficult day for those in Chicago.

Reports related to the weather’s fallout are still coming in but at this time, numerous car accidents and other traffic collisions have been confirmed and some are believed to have caused injuries.

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